6 Ways to Build a Learning Organization Through Leveraging Millennials (Part 1)
Times are Changing
Of course, an organization needs to focus first and foremost on adapting to its business environment. But what if adapting to Millennials can also help organizations adapt to its external environment at an ever-faster rate? Fortunately, this appears to be the case. Changing the approach from adapting to Millennials to leveraging Millennials is the key to unlocking this possibility and opening doors to new opportunities to transform your organization into a Learning Organization.
The Learning Organization & Technology
In this turbulent environment, Millennials are primed to flourish. They natively understand the imperative of change and their clockspeed is already set for the accelerated learning this requires. Millennials are attracted to Learning Organizations because these environments will provide a place to experiment, learn quickly, develop skills, and make contributions that are highly valued. It is no surprise: the individuals best equipped to adapt to change are most likely to join organizations that embrace change. This creates a self-reinforcing positive loop between these employees and their companies. If your organization is not in this cycle, there is a danger that you will be left behind. But here’s a question: do you have eager Millennials in your organization? Then take a moment to breathe a sigh of relief (but not too long) and get to work in leveraging them to build a Learning Organization for your company.
Three (of Six) Ways to Build A Learning Organization through Leveraging your Millennials
1. Increase Cross-pollination through Greater Teamwork
Leverage your Millennials by encouraging the formation of teams and making sure they contain diversity in background, geography, skills, and–yes, generations. This is an area where Millennials can model good idea-sharing and teamwork for others in the organization.
2. Establish a Feedback-Driven Culture to Learn and Grow Together
Leverage your Millennials by setting expectations for more frequent feedback. Reinforce the principle that feedback is best when nearly immediate. It should be done after major projects and events, and also after key meetings and workshops. From a management point of view, this requires a shift to a mentoring approach rather than a task-management approach. Your Millennials will appreciate this, as will nearly all employees, as your organization and people grow together.
3. Embrace a Trial-and-Error Approach to Learning to Drive Innovation
Leverage your Millennials by encouraging them to experiment: let employees test ideas in a limited fashion, and be rigorous in capturing the results of the tests, and make this data available for others to learn from. To do this well, the organization must showcase ‘failures’ as well as successful experiments, with the documented learning being the common denominator. Millennials, and all employees can operate in a more entrepreneurial and creative atmosphere. That is a benefit for them, as well as for your organization, which will be more nimble and adaptive in the face of change.
If you enjoyed this content, be sure to read our Millennials Workforce article.