Learning & Development

Millennials as Servant Leaders in the Workplace

According to Pew Research, Millennials make up most of the current U.S. labor force. And as they advance in their careers and take on more leadership roles, it’s becoming apparent that they’ll prefer to adopt servant leadership styles by fairly wide margins.


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According to research conducted by Deloitte, Millennials prefer leadership styles that focus on diversity and “plain talk.” And they have strong values that make them want to accomplish work that serves a bigger purpose and is good for their communities and society.
They’re also team-oriented and like to focus on projects and initiatives that are original and have the potential to make a big impact, both internal and external to their organizations. Furthermore, they’re receptive to coaching and leading Generation Z as they enter the workforce.
Here are some things to keep in mind when considering Millennials as servant leaders.

Open Communication and Routine Feedback

Effective servant leaders work to foster positive and effective communications across teams. And that’s exactly what Millennials prefer. They value open communication so much that 81% of Millennials said they’d rather work for a company that prioritizes open communication over perks like gym memberships and free food.
And they value leaders who constantly seek feedback from their employees and will be likely to consistently provide their employees with constructive feedback and recognition for work well done.

Inclusive Team-Oriented Approach

Focusing on each employee’s needs, unique spirit (personality), and specialty is important to the servant leader, as well as Millennials. They won’t reject someone as a person and will assume each employee has good intentions, even if they can’t condone certain behavior or performance.
They fully embrace diversity and want dynamic teams with individuals who have a vast array of expertise. Such desire for diverse teams mixed with their desire for strong and open communications leads Millennial leaders to adopt very inclusive team-oriented approaches. They encourage and empower team members to speak up, voice their diverse opinions, and work together toward team-oriented goals and initiatives.

Disruptive and Innovative

Millennials are not afraid to challenge the status quo and don’t appreciate policies that don’t serve a real purpose. They are open to using technology and innovative approaches to drive their purposes for a better organization and world.
Like servant leaders, Millennial leaders tend to think beyond the everyday realities that their organizations or departments face and work to conceptualize bigger issues and long-term goals.

Commitment to Employees’ Growth and Community

Overall, Millennials will work tirelessly to ensure their employees are working to fulfil their career goals, find their purposes, and reach their objectives, like servant leaders do. And like servant leaders, they always use their team-oriented approach and desire for effective communication to build relationships both inside and outside of their organizations to form strong communities.
In more ways than one, Millennials of today will become the servant leaders of tomorrow.

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