Millennial Series Blog 2: Team Work + Shared Learning

Millennials are team-oriented and driven by shared learning, or mentoring.

In the first blog of this Millennial series, we attempted to define the Millennials and investigated how this largest living generation and fastest growing workforce segment seek purpose and desire innovation. Next up is focusing on how Millennials are team-oriented and driven by shared learning.

Team Work: One for All, All for One

If you want to retain Millennials, the research suggests you offer team-based assignments. Millennials are “a true ‘no-person-left-behind’ generation”. This mentality goes hand-in-hand with their desire for meaningful work—they prefer to work on goal-focused teams. It’s also essential to offer opportunities for Millennials to build friendships with their colleagues.

Let applicants know about team-work opportunities during the hiring process. Design your office space for easy idea sharing, whether that’s manually via white boards and open cubicles or online via communication apps like Slack or project management software like Basecamp.

Team-building activities and space design satisfy a Millennial’s need to be involved and included while simultaneously building workplace camaraderie.

Shared Learning Benefits Everyone

Millennials crave feedback and guidance. To fulfill this need without exhausting your resources encourage cross-generational mentoring.

“According to the 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey, 63% of millennials say their leadership skills are not being fully developed. It also found that those intending to stay with their organization for more than five years are twice as likely to have a mentor (68%), than not (32%),” argues a recent Forbes article.

Mentoring enables a firm to not only grow Millennials’ leadership skills, but also ensure better retention of employees from this frequent job-hopping generation. Coca-Cola developed Coke Young Professionals, which offers development, networking and social events, for this very purpose.

Modern Mentoring: Different Approaches

In Cross-Generational Mentoring, senior professionals share business skills with Millennials while Millennials teach high-tech skills to more experienced colleagues—increasing job satisfaction for both generations. This set-up can also help employers assess a Millennials’ readiness for promotion.

The Harvard Business Review defines Group Mentoring, another alternative, as “a less-resource-intensive but still effective way of giving Millennials the feedback they crave.” Led by senior management or by peers, group mentoring often uses a technology platform with specific features like forums, document-sharing and calendars, all of which reduce HR’s hands-on involvement in the mentoring process.

Responding to demand, a plethora of mentoring software now competes for company dollars; a few of the most popular are MentorCliq, Chronus and River.

Millennial Maintenance

Notifying Millennials that your company offers team-work opportunities and shared learning via modern mentoring helps you recruit and retain these talented professionals. Add emphasis on purposeful work and innovation, and you’re well on your way to unpacking the Millennial enigma.

Next up, we’ll consider how delivering defined professional development and nurturing leadership skills to maximize potential also lead to increased job satisfaction among Millennials.