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Industry Insights

No Loyalty? Really?

4 questions to help you better understand Millennials!

There's been a lot of talk lately about millennials and the way they show up in the workplace. You may have seen the very popular video by Simon Sinek (included below).

Here's another great guest blog post by Pete Kuehni where he shares some of his thoughts on millennials. Pete is a friend, leader, business owner, mentor, coach, husband, father, granddad and author of the e-book “Becoming a Maverick, 5 Irrefutable Keys to a Thriving Life and Business”. We’re grateful to have him back.

“We have thoroughly enjoyed employing awesome team members who are – yes that’s correct – millennials!”

Pete Kuehni

There is NO LOYALTY anymore in the workplace. How are we supposed to deliver our work, on time and on budget, when these young people won’t commit?”

Sound familiar?

When we engage with business owners and leaders, the topic of the “Millennial Generation” frequently comes up. Unfortunately, the underlying reason for the discussion is usually not positive. With much frustration and discouragement, the owner grapples with the struggle of trying to grow a team that is committed to doing a great job, serve clients well, go the “extra mile”…… let alone just showing up on time.

Again – sound familiar?

Just in case you are tempted to administer a measure of judgment on this generation of young people, I invite you to explore and reflect on 4 questions that have been quite helpful for me as I engage with millennials.

Before we go further, you may be thinking the question “What do you know about millennials?” Hope this helps….

My business partner, Chip, and I each have 4 millennial adult “kids”. In addition, we have thoroughly enjoyed employing awesome team members who are – yes that’s correct – millennials! As business owners and parents we have more than enough context and experience to speak into this topic. There are a number of lessons we continue to learn, and want to pass on, as you engage with millennials in your business.

Consider these 4 Questions to help better understand what you may observe as a “lack of loyalty” from the millennials on your team. Remember that most of us, “boomers” or “Gen X’ers”, were raised with these institutions as more ‘foundational’, more assumed to be “stable” and “present”. Reflect on the following questions.

In growing up, within reason, you and I trusted…

The institution of government.
On balance would you say that young people today trust the institution of government?
The institution of family.
On balance, and with deep respect to the relational challenges many families have and are facing, do young people today trust the institution of family?
The institution of “religion”.
On balance, given how “religion” struggles to show up well, do young people today trust the institution of religion?
The institution of the workplace – the corporation.
On balance, given how their parents may have been treated in all the corporate upheaval in the last couple of decades, do young people today trust the “company”?

What do you think? If you were a young person starting out in the work-a-day-world, how would you respond to these institutions that we as “boomers” and “Gen X’ers”, have assumed to be “trustworthy”. I suspect if you and I grew up in their world, we may respond to those “institutions” in a similar way to them.

I am not condoning inappropriate responses. I am, however, advocating on their behalf for greater a sense of understanding as to why they may be responding the way they do.

There is much more to be said on this growing challenge for us and for the millennials we are looking to employ and lead. Stay tuned for future thoughts on steps you can take to better engage the millennials in your world.

Are you willing to do your part to understand and lead the millennials in your world well? Your and their future depends on it.

And here's another take on millennials. Y'know... just cause they're so easy to make fun of :)

Written by Peter Kuehni

January 12, 2017