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Business Unplugged™
This blog features Carol Roth's tough love on business and entrepreneurship, as well as insights from Carol's community of contributors.

How to Take Direction from Younger Team Members

Written By: Catherine Morgan | No Comments

Millennials will be an even larger component of the workforce going forward. In Carol’s recent post on the Nextiva blog, “How You Can Let Millennials Better Manage You,” she shares some suggestions for soliciting ideas and input to get younger workers more engaged and involved. Carol begins:

As millennials now fill more employment roles in your business and given that they are projected to be 75% of the workforce by 2025, you have to face the fact that you’re dealing with a very different mindset. This generation does not view authority with the same deference as your more seasoned team, and managing them can be a challenge. Take note though; a growing number of your customers are also millennials. Listening to your employees’ viewpoints might help your businesses’ bottom line.

You don’t have to relinquish control of your business to strike the right balance. The following 5-point plan provides ways that you can take some direction from the younger members of your team — and add value for a youthful customer base.

1. Open your mind to new possibilities

You don’t always have all of the answers, but employees don’t always know what’s right, either. Still, take their ideas seriously and you’ll find that saying “yes” often makes sense.

It’s easy to assume, for example, that employees fighting against a third cross-check of a project or product just want to lighten the work load. Or, are they just pragmatic? Before you say “no,” ask yourself if that third check ever reveals errors that justify spending the extra time. If you can get a high-quality product to the customer sooner without it, then maybe, happier employees create happy customers.

2. Convert eye rolls into suggestions

The millennial generation is an outspoken one, but even these employees may know enough to avoid overtly attacking your ideas and assignments. Body language speaks volumes, so watch for the eye rolls or pursed lips that may signal unspoken disagreement.

Signs like these are golden opportunities for friendly debates. So, when you clearly see that an employee doesn’t want to make a bad-news call to a client, believes that a boring task is unnecessary or otherwise disagrees with you, dig deeper. If you can convert disagreement into good ideas, then everybody wins.

You can read the rest of the post here.

Article written by
Catherine Morgan is the editor of Business Unplugged ™, an engaging speaker, and the founder of Point A to Point B Transitions Inc., a virtual provider of coaching services to individuals who are in business or career transition. Catherine is the author of the eBook Re-Launch You: Discovering Your Point B and Embracing Possibility. An experienced independent consultant and former employee of three of the former Big Five consulting firms, Catherine combines strategy development with accountability coaching. Her productivity tips and career transition advice have been featured on WGN AM 720 and WIND AM 560 The Answer in Chicago, and on WCHE AM 1520 in the Philadelphia area. Catherine speaks frequently on topics related to productivity, career transition, small business, and entrepreneurship. She doesn’t take herself seriously, but takes her subject matter very seriously.