And then how do we handle them?

Texas Tech University’s basketball head coach, Chris Beard, recently shared some incredible insight into the philosophy of his program which saw an underwhelming team of nearly a decade find success all the way to the Elite Eight in the 2018 season. The room was filled with entrepreneurs and business owners, and when the floor was open for questions, someone asked, “How do you handle Millennials?”

The audience member went on to explain the need for his question with the usual complaints of “entitled”, “technology focused”, and “difficult to work with”.

“How do we attract Millennials?” has been a trending concern in the workplace, and it is usually accompanied by a silent – “And then how do we handle them?”

These questions are intriguing to me having been labeled a “Millennial” and also having served in management roles in a world where Millennials make up the main pool of the workforce. Companies are building the perceived persona of Millennials into their business plan, because (quite bluntly) we are quickly approaching an era where the leadership baton must be passed and Millennials are needing to be invited to more tables.

If you put these questions into a search engine, you’ll find article after article sharing a few of the same key concepts – provide a purpose, provide perks, provide flexibility. And yes, these are all erupting trends said to be driven by the need to attract the Millennial – and keeping their often divided and easily distracted attention.

While there are definite benefits to updating the “employee handbook” within your organization, the verbiage and approach needs to be tweaked.

The questions are not “How do we attract Millennials? And what processes do we need to change to do so?”

The questions are “How do we attract new, good talent?” and “When was the last time we re-evaluated our organization’s functionality in the modern context while considering access to new, creative technologies?”

When you shift your mindset to the latter, two things potentially happen:

  1. You look for the right kind of candidates and recognize when malleable, eager-to-learn talent presents itself.
  2. You break down the barrier of “different” equalling “difficult.”

It’s true. New talent can often bring cultural changes. While not all change is necessary, not all change is bad either. Begin to build in processes that will allow you to recognize when change is needed. Identify what kind of change might be required, and then consider the voices around you to find a balanced path forward. In order to facilitate the needed changes, coach to the individual. By incorporating a desire to attract new talent into the core of your business, you will find yourself less concerned about how to “handle Millennials” and instead opening your organization to new ideas that can propel you forward towards business plans capable of leading you down a path of true differentiation in your market.

If you’re needing to break down barriers internally or want to position yourself in a way that attracts the right kind of talent, Wild Lark Strategies can help you do that. Learn more or contact us at info@wildlarkstrategies.com.