4 Ways To Develop Millennial Leaders

Hernan Marino

leadershipIn 2020, just five short years from today, Millennials will represent almost half of America’s workforce and an equal number of leadership positions in companies both large and small. As you review Millennial employees on your team, who stands out as one of your next leaders? More importantly, how do you keep potential team leaders engaged in your business and not lose them to a competitor? Here are four ways to develop Millennial leaders while keeping them happy.

  1. Set up regular meetings – Give your designated leaders goals, answer their questions, provide feedback, and encourage growth. Meetings are no longer defined or limited to employees sitting around a conference room table. They may very well take place electronically via Skype or group chat. The key is to consistently meet with your group leaders and set expectations accordingly. Create an environment that allows your team to ask questions while giving them needed support. Millennial employees are more likely to express loyalty when they feel connected, encouraged, and heard. Meetings are an ideal venue to establish and solidify these connections.
  1. Delegate responsibility – While this may be difficult for the micro-manager in us, it is imperative that you delegate responsibility. Give new team leaders the opportunity to show what they can do for you and the company. Delegating work will also free up your time to focus on the bigger picture of your team’s goals. As a manager, it allows you to see how your direct reports get the job done! In addition, it gives you the chance to share vital feedback, both positive and constructive criticism. All parties will benefit from owning their responsibilities and your team will feel empowered to do their best.
  1. Provide them with internal/external leadership training – Internal mentorship programs are an excellent tool to encourage employee growth and loyalty. Structuring a leadership training program can provide a direct connection to an employee’s next steps within the company. Those being mentored find confidence in working with a knowledgeable, willing participant, giving them their own sense of leadership. The mentor offers his or her experiences and expertise and benefits from this mentoring role by finding satisfaction in helping the next generation succeed. Alternatively, an external training program can offer a fresh perspective to your teams. This type of program often inspires future leaders to do better by learning new ideas or techniques presented by an outside trainer, especially when designed to strengthen team bonds.
  1. Engage them on social media – Acknowledging your employees’ accomplishments via social media is a powerful way to spotlight members of your team. Millennial employees have grown up utilizing social media to document their lives, and connecting with them via social platforms is a smart way to keep your future leaders engaged with your company. By showing how much you appreciate their contributions, your employees are more likely to feel inspired, empowered, and proud to be a part of your company.

Millennial employees want to know they matter and that their work is making a difference in the company. The more you can incorporate a clear path to success and a strong message of connection and gratitude into your company culture, the greater your chances are of cultivating loyal leaders that are enthusiastic about the future and empowered to do their best today.

To learn more about leadership in a growing company, join SMB expert Brian Moran and Hernan Marino, Senior Vice President Global Head Partners Marketing Organization at SAP, for a TweetChat Sept 16 at 11 AM (PT).  Use #SAPSMBChat (Tweet this Message).

Hernan Marino

About Hernan Marino

Hernan Marino is Chief Operations Officer of marketing and Global Head of SME/Partner Marketing at SAP, the market leader in enterprise application software. SAP (NYSE: SAP) helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. Hernan leads SAP Marketing’s digital transformation, marketing automation strategy and SAP’s growth plans in the SME marketplace.