Response to Sinek’s Managing Millennials
Simon Sinek’s interview on the challenges facing Millennials and their employers in the work place has certainly resonated with people of all ages.
I would highly recommend spending the 15 minutes to listen to Simon’s views. Should your time be tight, I have summarised some of the key points with some of my own ideas on how to resolve some of the challenges we face.
Millennials feel ‘entitled’. They want to work in a place with purpose, make an impact (whatever that means?!) and enjoy free food whilst lounging on bean bags.
Yet Millenials are still generally not happy!!
Simon puts this down to 4 key reasons:
- Patience (lack of)
‘Failed Parenting Strategies’ have given millennials a distorted view on life that they can get anything they want. ‘Cotton Wooling’ their children, protecting them from the sometimes harsh tribulations life can throw at them. Rewarding them for taking part rather than winning….creates guilt for those simply taking part knowing that they have not performed well enough to deserve the recognition. It is clear in the workplace you do not get any reward or recognition for coming in second. You either get the business or not – it is that simple!
Simon also touches on narcissistic tendencies of this generation due to the ‘feel and show-good filters’ social media can create. It is natural that we all want to show our best self on social….and it gives the false impression that we are so in tune and have life sorted. When in fact many do not and this increases the sense of low self esteem.
Key Idea: Introduce meditation / mindfulness to more people at a young age. Click here to read an article about how one school replaced detention with meditation. The results were stunning! For young people to understand that your brain needs the same type of conditioning as any other muscle in your body might encourage them to give it time to relax and recover (cliched as it may sound). In the workplace – why not experiment with the idea of swapping your ‘after work drink’ with a group meditation session?
It has been scientifically documented that Social Media and use of Smartphones is highly addictive. A like, share or ping on your phone creates a hit of dopamine in the same shape and form that smoking, drinking and gambling does. However, these vices have age restrictions….use of smart phones don’t! For alcoholics, at times of stress (whether it be financial, personal or social) they turn to the bottle….for many Millennials – they simply turn to their device rather than a friend!
Simon also touches on the inability for many millennials to create deep and meaningful relationships. I am a firm believer that no amount of social media will prevent a friend eventually becoming ‘just another acquaintance’ if you don’t meet face-to-face from time to time. In one survey, researchers found that the average Facebook user has 155 friends in their network. I expect this figure to be more than double for Millennials.
They considered just 28 per cent to be genuine friends – fitting in to Pareto Principle. 20% of the people you are connected with accounts for 80% of your success. The average number of Facebook friends closely coincides with ‘Dunbar’s number’ (150) – a figure from the world of anthropology, suggesting it is the max number of relationships a person can maintain.
Social Media has to be treated like any addictive vice, whether it be alcohol, gambling or drinking….a healthy balance have to be struck!
Key Idea: ‘Phone-free’ meet ups with friends or colleagues. Whether this be simply going for a drink – consciously leave your phones at home. Should you want to take this initiative one step further we would recommend a ‘Digital Detox’ in the great outdoors with Travel Out There.
We live in a world, where we can expect pretty much anything at a push of a button to become ‘instantly gratified’. Simon jokes about the ‘play’ being taken out of the dating game and how millennials do not fully understand that things take time. Whether it be job fulfilment, love or even mastering a skill….it is a long old journey.
As a ‘GEN X’, a digital immigrant rather than a digital native, I still remember days where we were not so dependent on Social Media. I guess it helps this generation strike some form of balance, having lived without it for over half of my life!
Unfortunately, this is not the case for Millennials and this does have many negative consequences as Simon details in his talk..from kids being signed off school with depression and increasing suicide rates. These are the worse case scenarios…best case scenarios millennials living unfulfilled lives claiming to be ‘just fine’ when in fact they are miserable.
Key Idea: Introduce a mentoring / relationship building system within the work place that encourages relationships to develop with time. Click here to read a blog post we wrote about taking things slower. We would suggest rather going out for lunch why not decide to cook together. We are also strong believers in renowned business management consultant, Ichak Adizes, recommendation that all leadership teams should conduct dream sessions – preferably outside of the office. Click here to read more about this.
As an employer of millennials, a passionate advocate of balanced tech usage and the well being of future generations…this final point really hit home with me. It is the role of company leaders and HR teams to care and focus on developing their people rather than solely focussing profit. The infographic above identifies that there are ‘stereotypical differences’ between generations. Differences need to be understood and embraced, rather than discouraged and resented.
The GEN X’s and Baby boomers (although this generation are not often in the workplace as they are ‘spending the kid’s inheritance’ enjoying life as they should be!!!) need to support and encourage millennials to be more balanced and fulfilled by creating healthy habits. Millennials also have to be self accountable and ‘sign up’ to this new way of doing things.
The simple rules Simon states are easy to follow:
- No phone by the bed…use an alarm clock!
- Leave your phone at home when going out for meals with friends
- No phones in any meeting room at work…
Key Idea: There are more than 3 ways you can live a more tech balanced life….click here to check out 18 tips to strike the balance!.
How can we help you create more meaningful connections in your workforce?
Travel Out There specialises in providing companies team building experiences and retreats to help ignite team spirit & develop a more connected culture. We were the first company in Europe to offer Digital Detox’ programs – complete technology free team-building incentives. The program is usually combined with an outdoor nature experience, but it can also be added to any kind of activity, such as conferences and gala dinners, where Travel Out There will help to replace the technology with other more creative, off-line, device-free alternatives.
“After a day with our Digital detox program, we guarantee you will come back as a fresher and more productive and creative team – You have to disconnect to reconnect!”
Please click here to read more about the services we provide and we look forward to connecting, communicating and collaborating with you on and off line!
Thank you for taking the time to read…now get off your phone or computer and spend the same amount of time talking to a friend or colleague 😉