Millennials & Centennials
Millennials now comprise almost half of the average workplace, and Centennials- those graduating college after 2018- are your newest interns. Are you creating opportunities for them to flourish or stubbornly watching as they waste time?
Whereas many companies still practice a top-down, authoritative model of leadership, influential leadership relies on young employees to lead from below, and it is an imperative skill to seek when bringing Millennials, and even Centennials, on board.
Young leaders implement influential leadership when they can successfully explain and show clear benefits of innovation by convincing and guiding their superiors to change, leading by example. Those young leaders that can relate to other generations- understanding and respecting their differences- are the seeds that grow to be tall trees, able to reach into the highest of hierarchal structures.
Influential Leadership: Leading from Below
Influential leadership can change company culture relatively quickly, where older generations tend to appreciate tradition, young leaders strive for continual improvement. There are three ways in which young leaders impact a company with influential leadership.
1. Technology – Millennials get to know traditional company processes over a period of time, but are less likely to accept them when they know of more productive methods.
Whereas under the same roof exist generations that still consider e-mail a revolutionary form of communication, Millennials baulk at the idea that waiting even 24 hours for a response can be a standard company process. E-mail is replaced by WhatsApp for communication and Google Docs for document-sharing. They strive for instantaneous gratification and real-time visibility provides the perfect platform to improve traditional company processes and improve productivity with automation.
The implementation of a system that cuts a traditional task from 2 days to 1 per month may not initially seem like a justified investment, but considering what a company can achieve with 2 extra weeks per year begins to look a bit different.
2. Connectivity – Connectivity further speeds communication, increases company reach, and creates a louder voice.
Collaboration both at the round table and within the greater community sets the foundation for grander results. Influential leaders understand the need for connection and collaboration to achieve more. Social behavior and engagement build relationships at breakneck speed compared to traditional marketing campaigns.
The very notion of a social media influencer is to grow and engage their following. Adapting that desire for making connections into processes and programs allows companies to be seen and heard louder than ever. The opportunity lies in the appropriate social media platforms with a good strategy and continual follow-up, that still represents the essence of company culture. A solid young leader can bridge the gap by understanding both.
3. Drive – When presented with the right challenge, the clear opportunity for a reward and access to the necessary tools, Millennials work smart.
Their desire to achieve the goals they believe in and subscribe to can be a big push for company productivity. When motivated Millennials lead teams of other young employees, the results can be substantial. Influencers create engaged peers, and engagement is a powerful tool for companies.
Flexible work schedules and spaces allow creativity to flourish, and short and long-term goal-setting maintains focus toward the achievement. The trade-off and sacrifice for traditional work settings allows for surprising results, and the appreciation of non-traditional results may just take you faster and further into the future.
Prodensa is an advisory and project management firm that has believed in the power of young people for quite some time. Our investment in the development of young talent and our appreciation for out-of-the-box results has accelerated us forward into many new ventures.
Newly ranked as Mexico´s #4 Best Company for Young Professionals by Employers for Youth, we are proud of the dynamic we have with young leadership.
“At PRODENSA we firmly believe that the individual is the central component of our mission, vision and values. Together, the Human Resources area and the senior management pursue to guarantee that the experience of those we employ allows them to achieve happiness in their work place, we do this by offering a wide range of initiatives to prime the well-being of our employees.” – Alvaro Garcia, HR Director, Prodensa
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