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Managing Millennials

Views: 2036Posted 28-09-2018

How do you manage a millennial workforce? Katie Acheson, the CEO of Youth Action and Evan Goodman, serial entrepreneur and small business mentor join the Better Business Podcast to discuss what small business owners and employers can do to recruit, manage and retain millennial workers. Also joining the show is Employment Relations Expert Thorunn Arnadottir who chats about the recent changes to the Minimum Wage and Penalty Rates.

Fairly or unfairly millennials are perhaps the most stereotyped of all professional workers. Some consider them ambitious, adaptive and technologically-savvy, others see them as lazy, entitled and over-confident.

Yet while we squabble over the merits of millennial workers there is a bigger issue emerging.

The 2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey found that Millennials’ opinion of business ethics is at its lowest level in four years.

Worryingly, less than half of millennials believe business has a positive impact on society.

Yet, by 2025 millennials will make up 75% of the Australian workforce. So if they aren’t your colleagues, employees or bosses already, they soon will be.

Clearly there are some potential issues here that we need to address.

To help us discuss the world of millennials — and how to manage them — we talk with Katie Acheson, CEO of Youth Action, the peak body representing young people and youth services in New South Wales.

And we’re also joined by Evan Goodman, a serial entrepreneur, management expert and business mentor who — for more than 30 years — has helped businesses grow, scale and manage change.

Also joining the show is Employment Relations Expert Thorunn Arnadottir who chats about the recent changes to the Minimum Wage and Penalty Rates.

 

The Take-Aways

  • Forget ball pits and in-house baristas, the humble crossword might be all it takes to engage millennial workers
  • Why millennials change jobs and careers so frequently
  • Why successfully onboarding your young staff could be the missing link in your business
  • How establishing your business values focuses millennial staff and makes them more likely to stay
  • How the recent changes to the Minimum Wage and Penalty Rates affect your business

Leigh:  Hello and welcome to the Better Business Podcast brought to you by employsure. I’m your host Leigh Johnston and in this series we’ll be tackling some of the big issues in small business with the industry’s brightest minds. In this episode we unpick the motivations of millennials, their behavior and expectations, but more importantly we examine what small business owners and employers can do to recruit manage and retain them. But firstly why are we talking about millennials at all? Because they’re going to account for 75 percent of the Australian workforce by 2025, which means that if they aren’t your colleagues employees or bosses already, they soon will be. Meanwhile less than half of millennials believe that business has a positive impact on society. Clearly there are some issues here that we need to address. To help us discuss the world of millennials and how to manage them, I talk with Katie Aitcheson, the CEO of Youth Action and one of Australia’s leading advocates for young people and youth services and I also catch up with Evan Goodman, a serial entrepreneur management expert and business mentor, who for more than 30 years has helped businesses grow scale and manage change. I have to be honest I wasn’t sure of the direction of this episode but Katie and Evan were fantastic. They blew me away with their insight and their expertise. They went way beyond the generic insights into millennial behavior to really offer some concrete tips and strategies that small business owners can apply today. We talked about the importance of onboarding and having a solid induction program for young workers. Why it’s important to establish business values and how the team at Youth Action use the daily newspaper crossword to engage their millennial workers. It’s a great episode, we cover a lot of territory filled with practical tips you can use in your business. Before we jump in, I just want to add a disclaimer that yes we are talking in very general terms about a very large and diverse group of people. I do apologize for herding a massive cohort of individuals into a single category but I myself am a millennial so I kind of feel like I can get away with it, so I’m just going to push ahead, and with that here are my interviews with Katie Acheson and Evan Goodman.

 

The Better Business Podcast – Katie Acheson

 

Leigh:Katie welcome to the show.

 

Katie: Thanks for having me.

 

Leigh: The definition of a millennial varies depending on which website you visit or article you read. Can you tell us is there an agreed definition of a millennial?

 

Katie: Look everybody has their things and especially if it serves a purpose to extend it they’ll extend it. But generally if it’s about Gen what we used to call Gen Y. So millennial is probably between 1981 and 1996 so 22 year olds to 37 year olds. But I think the way that we talk about it in the media is all young people and that’s not necessarily true. So 22 to sorry 37 year olds is probably about right.

 

Leigh: Ok, So It is a much broader bracket than people might think. Can you tell us in general terms what is it that a millennial is looking for in a career?

 

Katie: Well you know not shockingly. I think it’s you know being able to be part of something that they believe in, having a job where they feel like they can actually succeed and grow in that which is I think every generations have that. But millennials have had a really different experience than their parents and particularly their grandparents and so there’s a lot of studies going into what makes millennials happy and Deloitte have done actually a really good job of interviewing millennials around the world and what they found is actually to get loyalty from a millennial. They like pay, they say they want pay but actually what keeps them in your workplace is inclusion. Inclusive workplaces or diverse workplaces and flexibility. So Creating jobs where they have the opportunity to see lots of different people from lots of different backgrounds and work together with them and also the flexibility around hours and the way the job is set up is actually a large part of what they want.

 

Leigh: Ok. I want to follow up on inclusion. That could be quite a variable term for a lot of businesses and people what does that look like Day to day?

 

Katie: So that’s probably about an inclusive workplace so that means that there are people from lots of different backgrounds so that might be from different cultures, different religions also with different levels of ability. So I think workplaces these days aren’t just a generic place where you see one person and all the worker’s look the same. Young people want to know that when they go into a workplace they’re going to be around people who are going to challenge them to be different and to do bigger and greater things. And that comes and young people realize that that comes from having people around who don’t think the same way that you do and have different experiences and so they really value that which is really exciting I think.

 

Leigh: I agree. And to be honest I think that that all sounds pretty reasonable like it. I think most of us would want to achieve such things from our work. What do you think we’re hearing so many stories of a disconnect between businesses and their millennial employees?

 

Katie: Maybe it’s just a generational thing. I think often a business is could be run by somebody who isn’t a millennial. There are a lot of people who’ve been working for quite a while and the future is different now than it was then. So young people or millennials have a very different experience so where their parents might have had one or two careers in their life and the grandparents probably had one job throughout their lives, millennials will have five different careers and 17 different jobs at the minimum. So they know that the workplace is very different that they’re going to move and they’re going to have to change and grow and adapt and industry. The industrial revolution or the next revolution that 4.0 that they’re calling it now with the gig economy and digitalisation, automation of the workplace. Young people’s experiences of work is very different than their parents. They know that they could be working with somebody in a global context sitting in their in their room or they might be working from home where as their parents probably didn’t have those options. So I think it’s a very different place and maybe sometimes a disconnect between an employer and employee when it comes to millennial is just a generational understanding.

 

Leigh: You mentioned something that I wanted to touch on, the tendency for millennials to change careers and perhaps unfairly or fairly depending on your point of view they are characterized as as job hoppers why do they have such a tendency to want to move around in a job and changed careers completely?

 

Katie: Oh I think it’s twofold. I think first of all the casualisation of the workforce force. So many jobs these days are part time or casual jobs or contract jobs. So they might look like they’re jumping around but actually they  have limited options so they had an option to get a part time job and it’s not paying the bill so when they get an option to find a full time job they need to do that to be able to pay their rent and for any listeners out there who are living in Sydney they understand that housing affordability is a major  issue for many young people but particularly those in metro areas, it is really hard to be able to just pay your rent let alone save for the future and the option of buying a house. For many young people isn’t even something they dream about. They just want to be able to pay their bills. So I think it’s twofold It’s about whether the options they have and I also think young people have a lot more opportunities in the sense of an expectation of that you if you want to grow in an area and skill and you’re in a job that you can’t do that then they’ll look for other opportunities which might make them seem like they’re hopping but actually what they’re looking for is skill development and it might be more about business is not really providing that to their employees. So maybe if we started looking at what they wanted in the job they might have option to stay for longer.

 

Leigh: I just want to touch on that. You mentioned skill development being a really important part of millennials day to day work and what they’re looking to get out of their job and their career. What are some of the tangible changes that a small business could make to facilitate that for a millennial employee?

 

Katie: I think thinking about skills what is this job currently give you what are the options for your employees to grow in their knowledge and their skills and having conversations really early on with your employees about what it is that they want in their careers and their lives and what the options are that you can kind of help them to get to that place. So many young people and particularly millennials really feel like they’re not prepared for the work of the future. School is really far behind and giving soft skills in some of those communication skills that are really core that young people know are going to be core to the future of work and they don’t feel prepared. And so they’re really looking to businesses to help prepare them. But I think somewhere about 10 or 15 years ago we stopped really thinking about professional development because of the pressures on businesses to kind of have high outputs and you know it’s a hard world out there that people are dealing with trying to keep a business running. And so the focus on developing your staff isn’t really has kind of sort of slipped away and I think actually what keeps millennials there is they say that they have opportunities and the desire to build those skills so it’s really worth investing in the time and energy into those employees. They might not stay for 20 years like they used to but those five years you get from them when you are investing in them will definitely pay off your business.

 

Leigh: Are they’re businesses out there that are doing a particularly good job with this? Anyone that you are aware of who have a good engagement plan with their millennial workforce in terms of recruitment attraction retention that kind of thing?

 

Look I think the tech companies have been ahead of this for a really long time, Google everyone knows that if you go to Google you can have a ball pit and there’s a slide there’s cafes there’s a gym there’s ping pong tables a lot of sort of shared spaces and flexible spaces these days have a lot of options like a café like a coffee machine or a barista who’s there or. And I think it’s that flexible workplace that they’re really tapping into that young people want to have a work life balance and that your work can be part of that you can have balance in your workplace. So there’s innovation spaces and ways of thinking differently and you know I mean it’s not just about a ping pong table but everybody loves ping pong at lunch. I mean I know at my workplace we do the crossword which might seem like 1950s but actually have people as young as 19 in my team and people as old as 40 in my team and we all really enjoy it. So it’s one of those things about just making sure that people feel valued and that they know that they’re part of a bigger team and I think the tech companies do better with money wise. But I think any business can look at how can we create a inclusive space where people are seen more than a robot and they’re seen to be part of building something and that they can connect with other people. It’s really important. So I mean anybody can do it. We just have a subscription to Sydney Morning Herald and we do a crossword. So that’s our way of doing it. But maybe ping pong table, Maybe it’s about picnics. It’s just about creating flexibility and you know the best people to come up with those ideas are Millennials themselves.

 

Leigh: Okay so maybe ask the question What do you want to do at work. What are the kinds of fun things will make you stick around for next one, two, Three, five years?

 

Katie: Absolutely. People ask me all the time what do young people want. I’m like you know what the best thing what they want is for you to ask them. So just go ahead. When you hire somebody ask them what would you like this workplace to be like. Don’t be scared of what they say. Like you might not be able to put up a ball pit in your Foyer but maybe there’s something that you can do that they think of that’s going to make your business so much more interesting and profitable, not only for you but for the whole team.

 

Leigh: And just to be clear we’re not necessarily endorsing ball pits and pool tables and indoor slides and all that sort of stuff it can be very simple changes that businesses can make to engage a younger workforce.

 

Katie: Yeah absolutely. Some places have white boards as a wall and they have creative spaces and so people can kind of take time out to think creatively. It might be about sort of doing a regular activity with the team that’s outside of your normal work space that is you know like just go for a walk or look around the area. There’s some really great volunteer programs so some of the big banks they’ll let their employees have a pay day of work volunteering for community organizations and that’s another way of really showing value to the community and value to your staff to recognize that they want to do other things other than work. And you get paid for it. So those sort of things all of those things work. I think it’s about four businesses working at what they can afford what resources they have and thinking outside of the box and millennials are fantastic about thinking outside of the box so make them the social coordinator or the creative person. Give them a title and let them go run free.

 

Leigh: That is really great advice and something that I think all of us can think of is rather than how can we impose roles and positions and job descriptions on millennials. What do you think millennials can actually bring to a workplace?

 

Katie: Yeah and I think a lot of people are moving to outcomes base. I mean young people as a whole are really interested in social justice. It’s a it’s a defining characteristic of millennials is that they’re very compassionate. They see they have so much access to that technology and they see around the world inequalities and what needs to happen and they feel very strongly about issues and so there’s no reason why a workplace can’t be one where people can express themselves beyond just the actual work of the tangible work it’s about outcomes how is the business going to make the world a better place and the more young people feel like the businesses invested in the world and making it a more equal place the more likely they are to invest their time and energy in you as well. So I think it’s really good for businesses to start asking the questions of their staff what do you want us to look like because in the midst of that your employee happiness scale will go up. And I think also your profit margins will get bigger because people are invested in doing things outside of the box and you might think of new marketplaces that you hadn’t thought of before because you’re listening to your staff and they’re thinking in a different way than you are.

 

Leigh: So there actually can be a business benefit to investing in young workers not necessarily a cost but it can actually drive leads and increase the bottom up fair to say?

 

Katie: Absolutely. I think Apple has based their whole market strategy on that. Most of their new products come from team creative times and so they’ll think outside they don’t just have one product line they’re always working on a number of different ones and they’re letting their teams and staff think differently. So to see whether they can’t create new markets faces. And so yeah I think it’s when we try to put young people particularly millennials as workers in a box what you’re going to do is see a shorter time with them because they’re not going to feel included. I mean it’s very important for them to feel like they’re being part of the change that’s happening in the world and part of the change is happening in the business so allowing them to have that sense of ownership along with you in your in your business can be really profitable.

 

Leigh: So the spectrum of what businesses can do to engage and retain a millennial employee or an entire millennial workforce is quite broad. If you’re a small business where should you start?

 

Katie: I Think start by looking for young people where they’re at. So social media is one of those places that I think everybody realizes that millennials live in the digital world. So finding out the kind of people deciding what you want and then going to the places that they are I think sometimes we go to the old ways of working to try to find stuff you can actually just put on a Facebook group like hey this is the thing I’m looking for do you know anybody and people will share and then you’ll get content. Making videos about what you do and engaging them in a visual way. It also works really well. It’s about thinking about it differently what exactly is it that you want and then going to them where they’re at rather than expecting that they’ll come to you.

 

Leigh: Katie thank you so much for your time today and sharing your insights into engaging, recruiting, attracting and retaining a millennial workforce.

 

Katie:] Thank you so much for having me.

 

Leigh: Before I let you go I want to ask one more question that’s not at all related to millennials but I think might be of interest to our listeners. Tell me what is the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received and why?

 

Katie: Oh it’s a great question. I think know who you talking to. So whether it’s the audience that you’re trying to pitch something to or how you running your team or when you’re going to a bank and you’re asking for a loan is actually doing a bit of research. One of the great things about the world today is we have everything at our fingertips you can find out so much about people just by googling. And so it’s so important to kind of work out who are these people what are their intentions and motivations and how can I meet their needs by having this conversation with them and because of that I think personally I found that my organization has really excelled and succeeded because we’ve got to know our audiences and we really respect and treat them treat them well we treat them with the respect they deserve and we try to make sure that what we say is true all the time and when we do something that’s wrong we tell them that we did something wrong. And I think because of that people trust us. And so it is really about knowing what works for your audiences no matter what it is whether it’s in a business case or your staff or just people in general I think it’s yes do a do a little bit of research before you start talking. Can you relay what Youth Action is doing in the youth space where can we learn more about you and your work. Well it’s youth action and so you can google us but we’re all over the place so we have lots of different platforms that we kind of engage with whether it’s Instagram, YouTube, Facebook or our Website.

 

Leigh: Where all engaged millennials are found.

 

Katie: Yeah exactly. We try to make sure that we kind of touch base with everybody at all sort of points. But our Web site is youthaction.org.au and it’s a good place to start. And finding out about what we do best the best way I find is pick up the phone and give us a call if you have some questions or some thoughts. I’m always happy to help and connect you with talking to young people directly.

 

Leigh: Katie thank you so much for your time.

 

Katie: Thanks for having me.

 

The Better Business Podcast – Evan Goodman

 

Leigh: Welcome back to the Better Business Podcast. We’re joined now by Business coach and mentor Evan Goodman who is here to discuss what businesses can do to connect with a millennial workforce. Evan welcome to you.

 

Evan: Thank you for the opportunity of having me on Leigh.

 

Evan: Can you tell us a little bit about some of the challenges facing small businesses that millennial workers may not be aware of.

 

Evan: Yes I, I’ve been fortunate enough the last few years up until very recently to besides coaching to have the opportunity to lecture at university and leadership and management and certain issues always come up with students and in particular I’m going to address now with my first year students who are 17,18 years old going to the workforce for the first time. And one of the things that they find confronting is when they get to a job is there seems to be a them versus us mentality against them. The young new people to the workforce against the SMB owner and I guess the challenge for the small business owner when he’s employing young people is to really make them understand why they want them on board and that it’s not an exploitative process but really a needs basis. I guess it’s also very important for young people to understand that small business people have a lot at risk. In other words, business owners often give a lot up to have their business be it buying a new motor car going on holiday with their kids and they often have to borrow money. Their houses stand security for their business.

 

So there’s a lot riding on it for them and often young people coming into the business don’t have an appreciation or understanding what’s at stake and they don’t see it. And it’s not explained to them. So I’d say the challenge the two challenges are identifying the first one is business people talk to the young people and explain why they wanted and why they needed. And secondly without putting them under too much pressure. Explain to them what’s at stake for yourself.

 

Leigh: I know a lot of your work focuses on culture and the values of the organization. Would that be a way for senior management and millennial workers to overcome that us vs. them mentality.

 

Evan: I’m not so sure I’ll address the values piece right now but certainly in terms of this gap you’re referring to I’d say that business owners or small business owner in particular have to understand that people coming to the workforce today don’t have this, I don’t know called the older mindset that this is going to be the one and only job. I think statistics demonstrate that the average person coming into the workforce today is going to have six or seven jobs. And I think business owners have to expect that and they have to realize that is that that’s something I have to have to work around. That doesn’t mean that they have to take the approach. I don’t believe the same commitment isn’t there. Because people are not going to spend their whole lives of one job because it is. I guess around expectation the three big things I would highlight that come out of again feedback from my students is firstly around CSR which is corporate social responsibility students young people, people come with the workforce.

 

Expect their employers to be mindful around things like global warming, welfare issues and sustainability, animal rights and even though they understand that the company can’t fully commit to this, there is expectation that they are mindful around these issues. The second thing that I get feedback on is that young people appreciate flexibility how they work when they work. And the third and most important thing, very important is that young people today unlike perhaps previous generations of people come into the workforce. They wanted to work, that they can see value in they don’t just want to be given a task, they don’t just want to be given a job they want to be given something with a contribution can be appreciated and that they can get value in learning out of it.

 

Leigh: What are some of the successful strategies you’ve seen in managers and millennials coming together to tackle a work related project.

 

Evan: Thank you for throwing me a easy question because I’m quite clear on this one Leigh. I’ll say this again. Three things. The first one get young people involved in the decision making process. Get them genuinely involved and indicate to them that you want them there. The second thing is give them a voice in the process. Once they at the table you’ve got to listen to them you what they’ve got to say. And lastly give them responsibility. The jobs have to have a meaning and they have to be accountable for the work that they accept to do.

 

Leigh: Evan you’ve given us three pieces of advice there that are really practical and wonderful takeaways for small business.

 

Leigh: For a small business owner or employer who hasn’t done this before who hasn’t tried to involve a millennial in those key business decisions and conversations. What’s the first step? How do you open that door?

 

Evan: That is a good question. And I guess there are many ways of entering it going to a very practical solution. I would probably look at the interview and the onboarding process and even that would onboarding a lot of small businesses don’t know what it means. Basically means have the processes in place to if somebody starts at you they know what to do and you know where to show them. I think that the whole process around that hiring process, the whole the whole hiring process, when I hear students talk about it they are you frustrated by it because they get to a job and they’re thrown in the deep end. When I talk to small business people about it. They are frustrated that they expect people to have better skills when they came out of college, TAFE or have matriculated. And I would say out of all the issues that a year from both sides that is probably one that is common to both of them consistently and I would encourage small business people to have a very solid onboarding process in place and bearing in mind if they can reflect on the time when they started working. Because what they went through is the same what people go through today, namely that it’s quite a scary and intimidating process. And if you can make sure that when somebody comes on board your company that there’s a certain level of comfort to support you can give them. I reckon that would be the first step.

 

Leigh: It sounds almost like there is that mismatch in expectations and there is almost a step being missed perhaps? Would that be fair to say that millennials come in not sure what’s expected of them and their employers are hiring them expecting more from day one. Is that fair to say?

 

Evan: Absolutely. It’s absolutely fair to say. And business leaders particularly of small business people and small business being defined as people under 20 employees don’t have the luxury of often training people correctly. The training process, the explanation process, the introducing what teams, what, what does it mean to be as part of a team. So they give a very quick overview of what’s expected and then move on to the next job. In the meantime, the young person who’s leading the job is almost disenfranchised feels demotivated when they can’t do the job properly and that in terms sets up this whole process where the owner thinks the staff member doesn’t know they’re doing. The staff member being young is too intimidated to ask or has a fear of sounding silly or stupid by asking the wrong questions. And then you have this process recurring over and over with both parties becoming dissatisfied with each other.

 

Leigh: But that can be a really simple fix kind of just having a clearer onboarding program and taking that time to invest if it’s it could be a day or even just a few hours do that onboarding properly. It can really harness great benefits for the business.

 

Evan: Yes. It’s almost a hindsight issue. In hindsight it’s easy to fix and the problem seems fixable but small businesses don’t understand that process because they haven’t been involved with it.

 

The majority of small businesses start as a one-man operation. Grow to two. Often the people they’re bringing, they’re bringing them part time. So the job is very specific so real onboarding is required then as they go they simply don’t know that they don’t know. And then you have the situation where the frustrations seeps into the process.

 

Leigh: Okay so the small business has recruited a younger worker. They’ve introduced an onboarding program. Tell us a little bit about the day to day strategies the employer can use in managing a millennial worker?

 

Evan: So the day to day strategies for me as a business coach are very much about practical issues so I’m going to sort of if you don’t mind me sidestep the question a tiny bit and go instead of looking at it in a macro micro view, look at it in a more macro view. And for me what is critically important is this whole aspect around values that I think you may have alluded to earlier and management and small businesses needs to have a set of values. Now what are our values? And from my perspective they are the rules that dictate how you conduct yourself in your business. In other words how do we conduct ourselves. And the beauty about values is that they have their intrinsic so they are aspirational because people want to have, have a strong sense of values. They also very understandable. Nobody doesn’t understand what values means to themselves or other people but the beautiful thing about values is that you tend to be quite respectful of people’s values even though their values might not be as high a priority as yours or vice versa.

 

Your always respectful of them and I think that for people joining a business short term, long term, young people, old people is absolutely critical that got those guidelines. For young people specifically I think it sets a great example that they can actually see other people demonstrate and live with their values. And that in itself there’s a lot of learning around that and values is a stepping stone to creating a good culture and when people understand that interconnection not only does it benefit the company which it does not benefit the individual and the team but that person goes to the next job. Bearing in mind that people are swapping jobs rather frequently. They take that good culture to another job and they can import that knowledge over there.

 

Leigh: So values are perhaps something they’re not every small business has the time or resources to set aside and fully explore. Can you tell us a little bit about why they should do that? What are the tangible benefits of taking that time to come up with a solid framework for what you stand for and how you want to conduct your business?

 

Evan: You’re discussing a topic that’s very dear to my heart and I always find it very interesting when I ask clients what their values are and they really struggle with this, which is both always a surprise to me and to them because you live your values the whole time. And yet when you ask to identify them people really struggle with them. So from a coaching perspective there are two types of values so there is the private and personal values which you have around family, around partners, around friends.

 

And then you have a business value and they are most in most cases separate and the key with the values besides what I mentioned before them being a guide and how we conduct ourselves with regards to our colleagues with our suppliers our customers because it sets a tone and it creates a framework. It’s also very important that everybody understands the meaning of the values. In other words, if we were to take a word like Respect. Respect has a different meaning for an older person maybe compared to a 15-year-old. They both appreciate and understand respect from their own perspective so it’s absolutely critical that the company or the business has a story around that value and it’s identifiable and they can show examples of good values and bad values. Because if that isn’t well explained then people bring their own their own understanding to the table which is not which is not the intent. So coming back to your question Leigh. Yes, clients, particularly my clients are right from the get go taught to reflect and think about their values. Importantly to understand what they are and what they mean and generally speaking once they realize this, also the realization they actually haven’t thought about it. It actually becomes quite a nice exercise to be able to annunciate them and to lay them down as a platform. Older people might know you used to be able to walk into a reception at a company and see a mission statement and a value statement on the walls but it actually meant nothing and when you asked the staff they couldn’t repeat it back and they didn’t know what it meant.

 

So I’m not talking about it in that flippant manner I’m talking about values as being a real explore topic and having business owners having a real understanding and then of course a key function of leadership is to go out and spread the message over and over and over.

 

Leigh: We’re witnessing at the moment a dramatic shift in the Australian workforce. More Millennials are entering the workforce and we’ve seeing the statistics that by 2025 they will account for 75 percent of the Australian workforce. Why is it so important for the future of Australian business that we start to adapt to this shift?

 

Evan: Well I’ll look at this perhaps from a different light and I see the importance setting not so much around the work that we do as from a respect perspective and what I mean by this is that smaller business. I guess I’m representing you today can sometimes come across a bit autocratic and they’ve got so much at stake that sometimes there is a sense of having to tell or instruct people how to do their work because in their mind they have this notion or idea of how it should be performed rightly or wrongly. That said people coming into the workforce have their own ideas and preconceptions about the business. And I think this respect part is critical moving forward because it is a better understanding and the expectations are cleared up. I think people can work better. When people can work better that flows through to all the different sectors of the business. I hope that answers your question in a roundabout sort of way.

 

Leigh: It does, it does.

 

Leigh:  It’s a wonderful insight and to be honest we could probably talk about this for hours and unfortunately we don’t have that luxury of time. Something else I am curious to talk to you about is we’ve taken a close look at some of the positive things that a millennial worker can bring to a small business. Can you tell us a little bit about what a small business can do for a millennial worker and their career?

 

Evan: That’s a great question Leigh. I think at the heart of their businesses and their mindset small business people generally want growth with a big growth in their own business growth for themselves. Growth a community. They also want to help young people who they employ to grow. I think that’s a given certainly for the clients that I work with and the two areas where I think that they could do it and they could offer a lot of value to a new employer employee, is number one the opportunity to work in a team and all that that encompasses vigorous debate, discussions, the learning, the responsibility but that just whole environment of being part of something bigger than yourself. And those opportunities don’t always come along in a small business because the nature of a small business and the urgency of work that has to be done. But it’s a learning part for both for the owner to be able to get the teams working and for the people in the teams to understand the real concept of the teamwork.

 

And the second thing the real really important thing that applies to this question you asked and just to small business leadership generally is really the ability to listen to truly, truly listen and added to that in a nonjudgmental fashion. People when they are listened to they will be willing to open up they’ll be willing to discuss and problem solving becomes easier and the relationship gets stronger. But it is hard to do and it is something that requires time and patience by both sides. Learning on the business side and the patients on the employee’s side but it is a tremendous and wonderful skill to have.

 

Leigh: Evan thanks so much for sharing your insights with us. Before I let you go I asked this question of all of my guests. What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received and why? I love the question. I guess I know the answer I’m very clear the answer my hesitation is I’ve actually never publicly said it because it’s quite an internal intrinsic driver for me.

 

Evan: So getting a world first scoop here.

 

I don’t remember the circumstances but I do recall I was a young bloke 10, 12 years old and I suspect the situation was around some type of negotiation or bargaining where there was an exchange of goods. And I remember my dad saying to me that when you go into this transaction ask yourself this one question. Is it fair for all concerned? And it has always stuck with me and to this day I can say with complete honesty whenever I go into a transaction whatever it is I always ask myself Is it fair for both parties.

 

Leigh: I think that’s a wonderful question and all of us could benefit from asking that question truly our businesses and in our personal lives. Evan thank you so much for your time. If we do want to learn more about you and your work where can we find you.

 

Leigh: Well firstly thank you for the opportunity it’s been lovely meeting and speaking to you with regards to finding me. I’m on Evan Goodman dot com or simply google business coach Evan Goodman.

 

Leigh:Wonderful thank you so much for your time.

 

Evan: Thank you.

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