May 27, 2018

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Herding Cats

The infusion of raw energy, enthusiasm and ambition younger employees bring into a company are vital to long-term success. However, not all executives recognize how to motivate younger employees. This segment of your workforce requires a different way of thinking and some careful planning.

Visualize your efforts to lead younger employees like herding cats. If you have what they want, theyll follow. Otherwise, good luck!

Here are a few tips on how to effectively lead younger employees:

  1. Face the facts, you will probably never know as much about as the latest technological gadgets as your younger employees. But, youll instinctively know how these advancements can help your organization. Consider asking them to educate you on what you need to know.

  2. Give them lots of space and they'll be happy. Ive yet to meet someone whos figured out how to manage their cat. Set the direction, provide the resources, and make yourself available to answer questions. Lead by getting out of the way.

  3. Make no mistakes about it. You are accountable for your teams results. Talk about the vision frequently, reward teamwork, and be prepared for a lot of coaching. Your primary responsibility is to keep your team focused.

  4. If you have what they want, theyll follow. The best way to find out what they want is to ask what motivates them as individuals. Countless studies have illustrated quality-of-life is more important to Generation Xs and Ys, than stock options. Consider guaranteed childcare, extended vacation time, or cash bonuses instead of traditional benefits. Be willing to give your staff the liberty to set their rewards.

  5. Why make it any harder than it needs to be? Only hire those that fit into your culture. Great teams start with the hiring process. Garbage in garbage out!

  6. And -- in the spirit of all things young -- its not so bad to hold mandatory staff meetings at the beach or before a professional sporting event. Think young to lead young!

- Shawn Upchurch

Shawn Upchurch designs customized hiring programs for companies of all sizes, as well as providing direct recruiting services. Shawn can be reached at 888.830.1904 x208 or

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