Millennials have become a major part of the workforce, but not all managers are equipped with the right tools to successfully lead this generation. ANCILE Solutions is a software company that helps businesses increase productivity and overall efficiency. CEO Frank Lonergan has seen firsthand how many managers and companies have struggled with millennial hires and overall employee engagement. Lonergan, the 2013 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year® Maryland award winner, shares his insights with us in the interview below.
1. What is the #1 mistake leaders are making when it comes to managing millennials for maximum productivity?
I would say not taking the time to better understand how they share and process information. Given the availability of digital information and the different mediums for sharing it, millennials find and share information faster and arguably more effectively.
2. What can managers do right now to instantly improve their employees' engagement?
Challenge the status quo and open lines of communication.
3. What are the signs of employee disengagement? How can managers remain proactive and curb disengagement before it snowballs?
I would say missed assignments, lack of communication, and a general negativity about their role and the company. Having open and direct communication.
4. Millennials are wired differently from previous generations. How can older leadership teams (those comprised of other generations) connect with Gen Y workers?
Be inquisitive about how they see life and what works for them. This isn’t one of those 'there is a right or wrong answer' [situations]. It is simply a case of some differences but it opens up opportunities for growth on both ends of the spectrum.
5. What single idea would you remove, insert or alter in the minds of managers?
That opportunities to learn something new are out there every day.