Step Up Your Millennial Coaching Game

We talk about Employee Retention a lot, but for good reasons. Around one-third of employees will quit within the first six months of a new job. And almost 80% of business leaders view employee retention as a critical issue.

Given these realities, what can employees do to keep employees long-term? Coaching programs have been shown to increase employee engagement and increased employee engagement is linked to increased employee retention. And as the workforce becomes predominately Millennials, it is important to understand how to have a great Millennial coaching program in place.

Additionally, as many leaders retire, Millennials will be stepping into more leadership roles so it’s important that a leadership development and executive coaching program be a part of your organization’s strategy.

So how can you up your Millennial coaching game? You can start by asking these 3 questions:

1. What is the typical career path employees in a similar role have taken?

This question uncovers paths you and your employee may not have originally thought of. For example, the jump from an entry level Marketing Coordinator to a Senior Leadership position is a big one and doesn’t happen overnight. But if you can look at the path other employees took to get from a marketing coordinator to senior leadership position you can help coach your employee through some may not-so-obvious paths and explore avenues that may better align their strengths and passion with their end goal.

2. How long will it take an employee to reach their goal?

Realistic expectations are important. If your millennial employee has set their career goal, they probably want to achieve it quickly. They may even get discouraged if they are not seeing quick results.

Start out by determining what the average time is for someone to get into their goal role. If that goal is 3 roles from where they currently are, add up the time it takes to progress through all 3 roles. So as an example, in your company, it typically takes one year to progress from Marketing Coordinator to Marketing Coordinator II, then two more years to progress from Marketing Coordinator II to Marketing Manager, and another five years to go from Marketing Manager to Marketing Director. That’s eight years before they will reach their end goal.

Being upfront and honest about the time is key. Millennials value authenticity, so giving them a realistic timeline helps build trust in you coach/coachee relationship. Providing a realistic timeline may also allow them to reevaluate their goal or at least gain a better understanding of how much work is involved.

3. Are you the best mentor for this person?

It is very possible that your team member has identified a path that you have very little, if any, experience in. In this instance, you may not be the best person to coach and continually mentor this person, and that’s okay.

The best performing managers are the ones that are able to guide their direct reports to people beyond their scope of knowledge and expose them to the best opportunities to grow their knowledge and skill set.

Creating a structured plan to achieve career goals, equips your Millennials employees with the tools they need to start chipping away at those goals. Millennials place a strong emphasis on having opportunities to for growth within a job. Showing that you are invested in their professional development and growth will go a long way in keeping your talent.

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