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In today’s modern world, it’s important for businesses to take a good, hard look at their leadership teams and their company culture. If a self-assessment of your company reveals a steady pattern of high employee turnover rate, poor customer service scores, a lack of communication among team members, failure to embrace change, and a lack of earnings, these could all be signs that a complete overhaul might be in order. 

Millennials currently represent 35% of the global workforce, and they will make up the majority within the next five years. They are a hard-working group, easily surpassing 40 hours/week, yet they also have a carefree 21% annual turnover rate in employment. Knowing that 75% of the future working industry will be comprised of millennials, businesses need to change their priorities and goals to align with the things that millennials hold most valuable. 

There are several traditional leadership styles that used to work in an age where it was frowned upon to question authority. People went through multiple levels of management to communicate with a figurehead, and there were few decisions made with massive input from the teams. People didn’t value what causes the company stood for because the focus was on the goods or services it provided.

Those old styles of leadership don’t apply to this new working demographic for several reasons. Perhaps the most profound difference is the metric they use to determine a person’s value. Baby boomers and traditional leaders view knowledge and boots-on-the-ground experience as the most valued currency when seeking new hires. Millennials, on the other hand, don’t see a person’s worth as being measured that way. Aside from the counterintuitive concept that the upcoming majority of employees are going to simply be too young to qualify for traditional criteria regarding experience, there are many other skills that make someone valuable. 

One important strength of a millennial leader is their desire to mentor and be mentored. They crave knowledge, both in-person and online. Millennials see leadership as the empowerment of others, not as a one-sided multi-tiered platform. They also understand the mental health advantage of having employees who can practice self-care guilt-free. They are way more flexible with hours and nontraditional working methods because they trust their employees to get the job done in the best way that suits them. Morale, in turn, gets boosted, since employees appreciate the trust being instilled in them by their boss. Linear, flat leadership styles also eliminate the middleman if someone wants to speak to their boss. Communication is freely encouraged.