Ty Kiisel: Working with the younger generation: I wouldn't call them lazy

Published: Thursday, Jan. 24 2013 4:00 p.m. MST

Empower them to do more: Once they understand the big picture, they can wrap their heads around the context of what they’re doing — which enables them to step up and contribute at a higher level. It’s not about controlling the chaos. It’s about leveraging their unique skills and making our companies stronger and more capable.

Feedback, feedback, feedback: These young people have been on the receiving end of feedback since they were very young. What’s more, if social media has taught us nothing else, it’s taught us that the millennial generation responds very well to positive feedback. We need to build organizations where everyone’s accomplishments are transparent and recognized. Taking queues from social media just makes sense to me. This engages employees and ultimately makes our businesses more profitable and successful.

I’ve taken some heat from the “geezers” who don’t want to adapt how we lead and communicate with our younger colleagues. “Ty, you’re pandering to the millennials,” they say. I disagree. Our responsibility as leaders is to adapt our leadership and communication styles to maximize the value of our workforce. Otherwise, we would still be working under the lash and drawing pictures on cave walls with rocks.

What are you doing to engage your younger workers? What’s been successful and what’s done nothing but cause a lot of grief?

As a Main Street business evangelist and marketing veteran with more than 25 years in the trenches, Ty Kiisel writes about leading people and small-business issues for Lendio (www.lendio.com).

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