Leader Spotlight: Jason Meulemans

Leading Millennial Employees: Effective Techniques for Leaders

For the past 15 years, Jason Meulemans has been an effective operations leader, consultant and project manager who drives results by leading individuals, teams and businesses. He is a relationship-based leader that effectively works with all levels. Throughout his career, Jason has embodied a results-oriented, hands-on approach to leadership. He enjoys rolling up his sleeves, diving into piles of data, and getting the flywheel of progress turning faster and faster. Professionally, Jason has worn many hats: financial services, healthcare, consulting projects, and insurance.

MAOL students complete an action research project as a means to address a current leadership problem. For his project, Jason investigated what makes an effective leader for the millennial generation.

The millennial generation is quickly expanding its footprint in the workplace. Like any generation, millennials are predisposed to certain behaviors and attributes related to a range of external and internal factors. When these behaviors and attributes are understood, a skilled and adaptable leader can coach millennial employees in ways that effectively motivate, engage and retain. However, many managers today lack the awareness, tools and techniques to address these attributes effectively. My action research project sought to understand the engagement mindset of millennials.

Through my research, I identified three key strategies for leaders who are coaching millennial employees. First, millennials need a coach and a mentor in their personal and professional lives. They are collaborative, communicative and want to interact with their leader. Second, managers need to be present for them on a consistent basis. An important finding in my research indicated that a manager who is not physically around for their millennial employees will lose substantial engagement from employees. Only when they are present can a leader interact and communicate with them in a way that is engaging. Lastly, money is NOT the primary motivator for engagement and retention. Millennials value a flexible work/life balance since they don’t typically live for work. In order to engage and retain millennial employees, managers need to be highly present, communicate often, and offer flexibility to ensure happiness within their work and life.