Ladies, stick with me here. I know this post is predominately business related, but we can all make a difference as a mentor; and, there is a small fashion element to it.
I have learned so much since my return to the professional world after almost 20 years away in education, and the best way to get caught up to speed is to attend meetings of other professionals. For me it is imperative for networking, as well as updates on current concerns to today’s business world. At a recent National Association of Women Business Owner’s (NAWBO) meeting, a table discussion turned to challenges with the new millennial workforce.
There are exceptions to every rule (and I hope my own adult children are the exceptions), but for the most part business owners are struggling with a weak work ethic, a lack of respect for authority, and concern more for themselves than for the success of a team or business when dealing with millennials. I am sad to say that I have been witness to this first-hand. I’ve noticed a blatant disregard for work hours and a lack of humility or respect when warned by authorities.
Also, let’s admit it. They have an unhealthy relationship with their phones. It’s almost an addiction, wouldn’t you say? Although it’s one I see adults of all ages guilty of. I recently saw a business owner ask an employee to put down the phone and work on their desktop and you would have thought an appendage was being severed.
I can report that after speaking with an intelligent and vibrant millennial that there was no full understanding of expectations in the workplace. The one reproved does not understand the concept of performing MORE, performing above what is expected in order to help the company (not to mention their own career) excel.
This is where we come in. They need mentorship like no other generation I have seen.
5 Ways To Mentor Millennials At The Workplace
- Work ethic. Diligence. Stress the importance of giving more than expected
- Remind them to be there. Put down the phone. Be seen when the boss is around
- Discuss the importance of working for the company’s success and not just their own.
- Talk to them (respectfully!) about watching their work wear. It’s important that too much skin is not visible in the workplace (it’s not happy hour) so that they can be seen making their stamp with the high quality of their work and not with their clothing.
- Encourage them. They are bright, fun, innovative and have so much to offer. They just need some direction with proper work place behavior and social graces.
I would like to ask all of you to be bold and loving with your advice to help your millennial colleagues out. I enjoy working with young people. I find that they keep me young. So I want to see them succeed for their sake and the sake of our business, as well.
Is there anything else you would add to this list? Please share. And thanks for being here!