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What Millennials want? Conversation with their bosses

James Callander

Millennial workers in the UK are motivated more and respond better to managers and leaders who engage, challenge and inspire them at work according to a recent survey from recruitment consultancy Freshminds. James Callander, Managing Director at Freshminds.

Two-fifths (40.2 percent) of respondents – ranging from entry level and middle management to senior executive and C-suite executives – agree that those transformational leaders have the greatest impact on junior employee motivation. That’s according to Freshminds, an award-winning recruitment consultancy.

This is followed by a Democratic leadership style (36.5 percent), which sees leaders encourage open communication and employee participation. 1 in 10 (9.5 percent) of all respondents stated that they see Autocratic leaders as being the most effective in motivating junior employees.

James Callander, Managing Director at Freshminds, said: “Our findings demonstrate the need for leaders to take a transformational approach when it comes to managing and motivating graduate and early career talent – the so-called ‘millennial’ generation.

“Organisations are increasingly vying with one another to gain a competitive edge not just in the markets they operate but also in terms of attracting and – crucially – retaining the talent they need to help them achieve their goals.

“To do so means building winning teams, breaking down barriers, celebrating and rewarding successes, and identifying and developing those with the greatest potential within the organisation.”

The survey also found that of those respondents who ranked Autocratic as their most effective leadership style, 35.4 percent hold a Director-level position or above, while 8.3 percent are currently working in entry level roles. Just 1.8 percent of middle managers favoured this style of leadership.

It is estimated that the average age of a director or C-suite executive is between 57-59 years old – a generation of leaders who very much embody a leadership style that believes in having a clearly defined chain of command and places all control and decision-making firmly in their hands, with no involvement from other key stakeholders within the business.

“But this top-down military style and rigid approach doesn’t sit well with the overwhelming majority of junior workers,” explains James Callander. “Neither is it very effective in the modern workplace – an environment that is often fast-paced and where change is not seen as a threat, but an opportunity.”

“Junior workers or millennials, whichever term of reference is favoured, embody a marked shift that is taking place. They are driven by the desire to make a real difference for themselves, their colleagues and the organisation they work for.

“The results of this survey confirm that junior graduate and entry-level talent respond and aspire to this type of transformational leadership. Those leaders who adopt this approach will make significant strides in creating better engaged and more productive teams, which by default will positively impact the bottom line.”

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