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The 5 C’s of Working With Millennials |  November 21, 2017 (0 comments)


Miami, FL—The diamond business has the Four C’s. Well, to work with Millennials, you have to learn the Five C’s. I did not think I wanted to write about Millennials or lab grown diamonds again. But, my husband Joe says, “They are both here to stay, so deal with it.”

I am not touching lab grown diamonds at this time. I have more issues than Vogue magazine when I even try to write and capture my feelings about that topic. So, this article is going to be about Millennials yet again—as they are here to stay.

Millennials grew up in participatory learning environments and thrive in collaborative work environments. Just like any other generation of employees, Millennials want to feel intellectually stimulated, inspired, and motivated at work. When I went to school, you were taught that if you do this, you will get rewarded. If you don’t do this, you will get punished—or at least not rewarded.

But Millennials do not respond to that way of teaching because they were taught differently. They respond to a collaboration-based “transformational” style of leadership because they also had this kind of education in school.

Remember the No Child Left Behind act of 2001? What it did was that in addition to schools focusing on standardized test scores, it required lots and lots of teacher/student conversation and feedback. The regular feedback Millennials received as students has followed them into the workplace and this is how they best respond to being motivated. So, if you’re hiring a Millennial, you will have to adapt to this kind of leadership style. This is what they know.

I won’t claim these steps to be my own, just my comments and take on them, but I have done the research and I want to share it with you. Here are the five C’s of working with millennials:

1. Conversation. The first step involves simply striking up a conversation about how an employee can make improvements on an individual organizational level. Seems simple, but trust me, a lot of people don’t like to have those conversations.

2. Calculation. After discussing how an employee can improve his or her work, he or she might need help planning how to achieve that goal. Now you need to start to calculate. How do you approach it? When it comes to Millennials, it’s really ‘how do we approach it?’ Hard for me to grasp, but it works.

3Collaboration. As professionals, Millennials thrive in collaborative settings. You can’t really just tell them to go do this or that. It won’t work. There has to be collaboration.

4. Communication. Once they determine a plan of action, Millennials will want to communicate the details of their improvement to the rest of your store or department. They will want to have that conversation, that feedback, about what the goals and objectives are.   

5. Cognizance. Millennials are particularly interested in measuring real-time results in their actions. They need to understand the progress along the way. To me, this is a new leadership style and if you want to work with Millennials you’re going to have to transform your leadership approach.

This is just my perception of what is going on in today’s world. I happen to have two Millennials in my office. It is different, but if you embrace them and try to recognize the five C’s, your business will flourish. They see and think differently, which is refreshing and most of the time successful. We have flourished, especially with technology. Give it a chance. It will work even if at first you want to pull your hair out.

Remain calm. The end result is what you’re looking for!  --Andie         

Andie Weinman, president and CEO of Preferred Jewelers International / Continental Buying Group Inc., was born with the “Jewelry Gene” working in the jewelry industry since she was only ten years old. Her first job was as a cashier in the opening of a catalog showroom doing a fantastic job even at that tender age. Andie holds a B.A. in musical theatre and a B.S. in marine biology from The University of Tampa. When she realized that seawater and marine biology were not good on her hair and she wasn’t quite good enough to make it on Broadway, the jewelry business beckoned. Andie has picked diamonds, sorted color stones, shot waxes and performed a multitude of jobs in the manufacturing of jewelry.  Her negotiating experience and prowess has given her the reputation as being tough but fair in her dealings with vendors. In 2012 the Indian Diamond and Color Association awarded Andie the Prestigious Doyenne Award of the Year.

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