Posts Tagged ‘mentors’

How Employers Can Get the Most Out of Millennials

Written by Sherri Petro on . Posted in Blog

Get the Most Out of MillennialsGenerational Expert Sherri Petro shares answers to some of the most commonly asked questions.

1.   What are your tips for those who are Managing Millennials?
·       Start with the positive
·       Tell them what makes you happy
·       Be direct and clear
·       Expect a collaborative approach to reviewing performance
·       Learn about their career goals and align your requests, as best as you can, with those goals

2.   What are your tips for delegating to Millennials?
·       Name it. Be very clear on what you really want to happen
·       So what? Share the facts and why you need it to happen
·       Now what? Provide exactly what you need of them

3.   What are Smart Strategies for bringing out the best in Millennials while onboarding?

·       Have the technology set up for day one. Not having technology can be a sign of disrespect.
·       Get them on a field ride or job shadow early
·       Use a Baby Boomer mentor to help them navigate the organizational social network
·       Be the person that helps them grow!
·       Engage from the get-go. Bring them in early on projects so they can see the components

4.   What are the type of managers that drive Millennials crazy:
·       Are cynical and sarcastic
·       Treat them as if they are too young to be valuable
·       Are threatened by their technical savvy
·       Are condescending
·       Are inconsistent and disorganized

5.   What are some specific skills U.S. Millennials are lacking in the workplace?
Dependent upon their early education, US Millennials may lack critical thinking skills. Their education concentrated on honing creative thinking skills more than critical. Combine that with helicopter parents buffering or even taking consequences for their children and “everyone gets a trophy” and you will see that Millennials didn’t get to experience the end result of effort either. Critical thinking requires information and consequences. They may not have received both.

We are also seeing requests from Corporate America for enhanced business writing skills and classes on “how to be a professional.”   The first is homage to the texting culture and the second is about not understanding the impact of image and consequences on relationship building and buying behaviors. Due to texting as, generally, a one-on-one sport, they can also lack one-to-many conversation skills.

6.   How best to help them overcome their shortfall? What needs to be done to bring them up to speed?
Help them hone their critical thinking skills by pairing them with mentors who can share their critical thinking mindset then shepherd the process with them.  Managers and mentors should commit to explaining the “why”? and make it safe for Millennials to ask questions. They can explain the consequences of actions in an positive and upbeat way as well as be appreciative of the Millennials’ effort.  This generation has been lauded more for participation than effort in the past and need to understand that the workplace lauds effort.

To help bring them up to speed, combine teamwork & technology. They expect a technology solution. Define the rules of engagement so Millennials understand limits and expectations when on teams.  Mentor one-to-many conversations so they understand team dynamics. Explain the impact of not getting work done on other team members. That’s where consequences come in again!

Do you ever wish you had the Dalai Lama, Warren Buffet or your own personal Gandalf as a mentor or trusted advisor? Me, too.

Written by Sherri Petro on . Posted in Blog


I could have used a conversation with one of them recently. Ironically it was because I was asked to participate in a mentoring event for young professionals a few months back.  Mentoring continues to be a hot topic — and for good reason. Mentees seek ideas, tips and secrets to success. Mentors seek to share words of wisdom and add value.

As for me, I had to come up with a gem or two that I could share with emerging leaders.  What should I say?  I thought hard. That’s a lie.  I agonized.  I spent far too much time coming up with the required text.

This prompted me to think about my own and other people’s mentoring experiences. What could we all learn as we seek to enhance our communication skills?  I canvassed colleagues of each generation (Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Gen X and Gen Y) on their mentoring experiences and counsel.

Here are some of my favorite sentiments:

From Mentors’ and Mentees’ Mouths: Five Lessons Worth Sharing

1. Ask the Provocative Question

Former CEO Scott Suckow, received a cosmic 2 by 4 on channeling ego by a mentor who posed an excellent question about what Scott really wanted.  As the CEO of a non-profit that had a great deal of success and growth, he was dealing with a board leadership transition that was not going well.  He was sure all he needed to do was to help the other person understand just how wrong they were. He was asked the question, Do you want to be right or keep your job?”and told that he might have to choose.

Scott continues, “That simple question really pulled out the complexities of ego, and whether as CEO I would be able to put mine aside for the greater good. It was explained that if each of us give 50% and meet in the middle, that puts half the responsibility on the other person.  That’s half that we have no control over.  Rather, if I was committed to success, why not do everything I could to ensure it, even giving 100%?  This seems like such a simple observation, but I was rooted in my belief of being right, my ego didn’t allow me to see how much power I actually had.  To this day, when I find my ego keeping me from exploring new ways of doing things, I nudge myself along by asking this question “Do I want to be right or………..?”

I blog monthly on ManagingAmericans. I invite you to read more of my favorite mentoring sentiments on Managing Americans.