Many people seem to feel hopeless when they talk about millennials and their work ethic. This, however, is not my experience as I love coaching millennials.

Through my coaching company, Plan to Lead, I have had the pleasure of coaching dozens of millennials. My experience with them has been pleasant.

Remembering some of the millennial business owners and leaders I have worked with leaves me in awe of how much they have accomplished over the years. Many of them came from very humble beginnings where it could have been easy to get into a lazy habit, but this is not their story.

Instead, these individuals have built incredible companies and teams, many whose names will be on the list of fastest growing companies for years to come. What impresses me most though, are these three attributes.

1.   Hungry

Millennials are incredibly hungry for personal and professional development. In fact, 87 percent of millennials say professional development is important to them in a job, compared to non-millennials who sit at 69 percent.

This age group doesn’t want to wait around decades for an opportunity to be developed, they want it now. It’s not that they feel they are entitled to it, but career development shows that the company is invested in them.

They want to know there is a path forward. If you don’t give them a path forward, they will find another path.

When coaching millennials they are typically excited to grow, and are grateful that the company believes in and is investing in them.

2.  Humble

I am sure that there is a subset of every age group that feels entitled, but this is not my experience with millennials. My experience with them shows that they don’t think know it all, which is helpful in the coaching relationship because they are most open to being coached.

During my coaching calls there are a few things that stand out to show they are humble.

1.      They ask a lot of questions

2.      They ask if I have any thoughts or insights on the situation

3.      They acknowledge that they may have a blind spot

4.      They listen

Studies laid out in a Forbes article also back this notion that millennials are a humble generation when it comes to work. Compared to other age groups, millennials rated their skills lower. This shows these younger adults may in fact have good self-awareness, which translates into humility.

3.   Hustle

This is the one that has stood out the most to me. The millennials I work with work hard. They are not just passing the time or milking the clock, they are getting the job done.

All the companies that we have worked with have had seasons of growth. These millennial leaders are leading their departments, helping out other areas when needed, and learning new skills all at the same time.

Millennials make up the largest demographic, which means they are not going away anytime soon. I am looking forward to continuing coaching millenials and seeing what this generation who hustle, are humble, and hungry accomplishes.

4 C’s Of A Culture with Strong Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is a relatively new term in the business world that can trace its origin to a study by William Kahn in the late 1980s. Kahn studied two different organizations, a summer camp and an architectural firm, to see how engaged the employees were and the reasons behind it. Despite its recency, it is a hot topic in the business world; as it should be.

Companies with cultures of high engagement had a minimum of 24% lower turnover according to Gallup. In this day and age, when employee loyalty is down, high engagement is a shining star.

Having a culture of strong employee engagement will not happen on its own, but you can turn the tide by working on these four C’s.

1. Clarity

Companies with high employee engagement have incredible clarity around a few key areas. The areas they are clear about are mission, vision, and core values.

A mission outlines what the company ultimately there to do, and answers the question “why does this company exist?” The reason this is important is that your team members want to be a part of something bigger than themselves. According to Gallup, 83% of people say it is “very important” for them to believe that their life is meaningful or has a purpose. It is important for their workplace to reflect this.

Clear vision lets the team members know where it is the organization is going. If there is no clarity of vision, employees won’t feel that what they are doing matters, and won’t know if they are headed in the right direction.

Core values communicate how you’re going to get to the end result of your vision. If one of your core values is customer first, this tells you what you that you are not going to put the customer second. Understanding your customer is first, helps to act as a filter in your decision making.

2. Care

While having an effective boss is not the only driver for engagement, it is an important one. Aon’s research shows that having a connected boss and connected senior leadership is critical for a company to have high engagement.

I remember a story of someone I was working with that was incredibly discouraged at work. The conversations were based on constant challenges they were experience based on their boss not caring for them.

In a turn of events, the employee got a new boss who was highly engaged, and the person became much more passionate about their role and their productivity increased.

When an employee has a boss who cares for them, it is much less likely that the employee will want to change companies. Richard Branson has said that “Clients do not come first; employees come first. If you take care of the employees, they will take care of your clients.”

3. Coaching

The desire for professional development is very strong in people. They don’t want to just “do a job,” they want to improve themselves so they can grow. Look at the findings from Gallup on millennials’ desire for professional development.

An impressive 87% of millennials rate “professional or career growth and development opportunities” as important to them in a job… and 69% on non-millennials do the same.

Coaching is a great avenue to provide for the professional development of your people. Though you will need to find your own rhythm, these coaching conversations typically happen 2-4 times per month.

Whether you use a coaching company or empower your managers and directors to do it personally, coaching is key to the future success of your organization. If you want to ensure that your team of employees remains motivated to come to work, you have to keep investing in them!

4. Celebration

When a team member does a good job, they should be celebrated and recognized. This helps to put to bed the question “do they even notice my work?”

Recognition and rewards are the number one driver of employee engagement globally, according to Aon’smost recent comprehensive global study. Companies that have good cultures of recognition have a 31% lower voluntary turnover rate.

The rewards do not need to be expensive. Simply recognizing someone’s hard work publicly, sending a handwritten card, or taking them to lunch can go a long way.

Now that you have an understanding of the 4 C’s of employee engagement, choose one or two areas where your organization or department needs to change. Once you know which areas to work on, secure buy-in from senior leadership, as they are critical to the engagement process.

What is one area of engagement you want to improve on in your company?

Five Incredible Benefits Coaching Can Bring To Your Organization

Coaching has taken the business world by storm, and what used to be an exclusive service for C-Suite executives is now being used readily throughout companies to develop their employees.

I remember an instance where I was brainstorming with the CEO of one of our clients about the benefits of coaching. During this time, the term EROI, an acronym for Employee Return on Investment, came to light. Out of that session, came five game-changing ways in which coaching can increase the return on your workforce investment

  1. Employee Retention

A growing concern in the marketplace is employee retention. Unlike days past, today, people are holding jobs for shorter periods of time than in previous generations. Instead of employees spending decades at a company, they are spending on average 4.2 years according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics

While there are many factors that influence this shift, companies with cultures of high engagement show 24% to 59% percent lower turnover. This represents astounding savings as that same study mentioned that the loss of an employee can cost up to 1.5 times their annual salary! On the low side, if a disengaged team would typically see 20 people leave in a year, an engaged team would only see 8-15 – ultimately adding up to a total savings of between 600k-1.4MM. 

The biggest factor in employee engagement is management, which to this day remains a typical position for coaching. The study offered coaching services as one of the recommendations to support management in increasing employee engagement.

Companies that have used coaching in the past say that employee engagement is always among the top benefits they’ve seen after the fact. The EROI is incredible here, as you’ll not only see an improved workplace culture, but you’ll also save a ton of money as well.

2. Employee Development

The potential of your organization rests in the potential of your people. When your people grow, your potential grows.

One of the most common reasons we are hired to coach people is to help in their professional development. The desire for professional development also happens to be incredibly important to millennials. In a Gallup article titled,  “Millennials Want Jobs to Be Development Opportunities,” they wrote:[

“Millennials care deeply about their development when looking for jobs and — naturally — in their current roles. An impressive 87% of millennials rate “professional or career growth and development opportunities” as important to them in a job…”

If you want to ensure that your team of employees remains motivated to come to work, you have to keep investing in them!

  3. Employee Productivity

Productivity is going to increase once team leaders, and consequently their team members, have more clarity that allows them to understand their most important goals. This is a big deal, as 50% of employees and managers do not have a clear understanding of what their role entails. 

Coaches work with employees not only to clarify their goals, but to also decide what consistent actions are necessary to accomplish them. Moving employees from setting goals to executing is crucial to the overall success of the organization.

4. Employee Selection

Our company help with employee selection through the use of EEOC compliant assessments. They can help the team go through the process of understanding the required behavioral skills, internal drivers, and competencies needed to drive production. We do this through the process of completing a job benchmark for our clients.

The behavioral skills will show whether or not the person applying for the role has the natural tendencies and abilities to do the job – and even if they don’t have the natural tendencies, they can adapt their behaviors. The key here, is to realize that the more adaptation required, the potential for increased job stress still remains. 

The internal drivers may be the most important factor because this will help to show whether or not someone is a cultural fit with that specific workplace culture. Behaviors can be adapted, and skills can be learned, but an applicant who does not fit the culture raises a red flag. 

Measuring one’s competencies helps to ensure that the person is ready for the position immediately. As mentioned above, skills can be learned and developed. 

  5. Business-Owner Mindset

There is a big difference between an employee mindset and a business owner mindset. One goal in coaching is to help give the cleints a big picture mindset to help drive the company forward. Here are a few differences between an employee mindset and business owner mindset.

  1. An employee mindset focuses around working for the business, while a business owner works on the business.
  2. An employee spends resources to accomplish a task, while a business owner invests money on resources to fulfill a larger vision. 

Once the potential benefits that coaching can offer are realized, it becomes easier to see just why more companies are hiring coaching firms to work with their employees, establish positive company cultures, and drive operational efficiency all across the board. Your company may be the best in its industry, but it can be even better with coaching!

For more information on message or contact us.

Coaching is something that has helped me with leadership development. In fact, I think it’s something that professionals can’t afford not to have.

There I was stuck. Have you been there? Knowing that you have potential, but don’t understand why you can’t get past where you are. Like me, you have reached out for help only to come up empty.

I was there, but I didn’t plan on staying there, and I don’t think you do either. Instead of hoping something would change, I started investing my money in coaching. Honestly, I didn’t know the results I would achieve, but I knew there needed to be a change. Do you know what happened? A life change happened.

Coaching is becoming a huge industry, and I believe it’s because it works. You can go further faster with someone in your corner.

Coaching is one of the best investments I have made in my life, and I would encourage you to do the same. If you need more convincing here are some more benefits of coaching.

1. Clear Direction.
A coach will typically ask what results you are looking for and help you create a plan to achieve those results. The coach will not make the plan for you, but they will help you discover how to get from where you are to your desired future.

2. Perspective.
A coach is able to offer a different perspective than your own. The reality is that you have some blind spots, so they can help you see what would otherwise not be apparent to you.

3. Increased Productivity.
According to research done by ICF, seventy percent of coaching clients had a boost to their work performance. That same article showed that more than half of those coached improved their time management skills as well.

4. Work/Life Balance.
Coaches can tell when you are off-kilter in your work/life balance. This alone is worth the investment.

A good coach will encourage you to not only grow in your professional skills but give your best to your faith, family, and health.

I have been on both sides of the coaching relationship, being the one coached, and now coaching others. It is something I believe in wholeheartedly.

If you are in a season where you are trying to improve personally and professionally, I challenge you to invest in a coach.

I’ve heard someone say, “The potential of your organizations rests in the strength of its people.”  If this is the case, we should be focused on developing our teams.

I have served in a leadership capacity for over a decade, in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors. During the early years of my leadership tenure, I relied on my ability to get work done. While I did a good job at maintaining the organizations I led, they were not moving forward as I was expecting. No matter how hard I worked, I would never achieve my desired outcomes.

Looking back, the biggest issue was that I was not developing or empowering my team. King Solomon said it well, “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.” Not to be corny here, but I was focused on harnessing the power or me, instead of we. I was not tapping into the true power of the organization and my team.

Fast forward a decade and I have become much more intentional at developing those around me. Here are a few simple things I have learned along the way, which helped to develop my team.

1. Coaching Your Team. I believe strongly in coaching your team. I meet every other week with every individual who directly reports to me for their personal development. I learned this from Building Champions.

They start by completing either a life plan or business plan, which serves as a basis for their personal development. These documents include the goals they have set for themselves in their personal and professional lives. Your job is to encourage them and keep them accountable to achieve their goals.

They send you an email 24-48 hours before we meet, answering:

  • Big wins since our last meeting
  • Challenges/obstacles that you’re facing
  •  Key topics we need to discuss
  •  Decisions we need to make

Team members leave these meetings with an action item(s) to complete. During your next meeting, you can ask them about their progress. This built-in accountability benefits both them and you and helps you to develop your team.

I have used the services of coaches for years, and our team would love the opportunity to come alongside you through coaching. Besides creating a plan for your personal and professional life, we can set up a coaching program for your team.

2. Conferences. Get your team out of the office, and get them into an environment where they are inspired together. Yes, you can listen to podcasts or watch leadership videos at work, but there is something about getting out of the office. Mark Batterson is known for saying, “A change of place, plus a change of pace, equals a change of perspective.”

It amazes me how a team member hearing the same thing from someone else causes them to “get it.” In a conference setting, your team will be inspired to see what is possible and hear from some of the best leaders in your industry.

3. Empowering your Team. If we never give people a chance to step up to the plate, they will never develop their swing. We have to give the eagles in our organizations a chance to fly, or they may simply go somewhere else.

To truly empower people, we have to give away responsibilities and the authority to accomplish them. We may have delegated tasks, creating followers; but often, we have not done the right thing by delegating authority to create leaders.

You may have heard the adage, “It takes teamwork, to make the dream work.” The potential is in your team, and as a leader, you are the one that can draw it out of them.


What is one step you can take today to develop your team? Is there anything else you could add to this list?
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