Photo: Samuel Zeller
Photo: Samuel Zeller

By 2030 millennials will be 75% of the workforce. The future growth, strength, and profitability of your business depends on them.

Do you struggle to bridge the gap between yourself and millennials in your company? Many business owners complain that young people are entitled, self-obsessed, and lazy. I think that’s an over-generalization. Young people are hungry to learn, grow, and contribute. What they need are mentors to guide them.

What’s the best advice you can give them? If you want to get rich, achieve greatness, and have a massive impact: be generous, serve others, and stop obsessing about yourself. Here are 15 ways they can do that:

1. Be patient
Don’t be in a hurry. Build your career by consistently improving your technical and people skills.

2. Be useful
Finish your work, then look to help others with their work. Start with your department, then branch out to the rest of your company.

3. Don’t be jealous
Be happy when others in your company do well. Find out why they succeeded, imitate them and seek to help them to greater heights.

4. Don’t boast
Allow the quality of your work to speak for itself.

5. Don’t get a fat head
Don’t allow success to inflate your ego, but always be thinking what you can do to improve and increase your contribution and impact.

How to Take Action – Review this list with each of the millennials in your company. Ask them: “In what specific ways can you apply them to help the organization?”

6. Adapt yourself to others
Study how others prefer to communicate, how they like to work and ask yourself: “How can I adapt myself to contribute to their success?”

7. Stop worrying about a raise or promotion
Good help is hard to find. Focus on being good help. Perks, raises, and promotions will follow.

8. Don’t get offended
You’re not in college or high school anymore. In the real world people have different opinions, perspectives, and lifestyles. Get used to it.

9. Don’t keep track of offenses
In any career you’ll get screwed, passed over, or dissed. Don’t keep track of it. Just keep working, doing your best, and making a contribution.

10. Help others when they fail
Don’t be happy when others fail. Try and help them recover. Maybe they’ll be there to help you through your failures.

How to Take Action- Turn the list into open-ended questions that you use in your hiring process to weed out the self-obsessed and lazy.

11. Recognize others
Notice people excelling, specifically and sincerely praise them and tell others about their efforts.

12. Don’t gossip
You’ll hear and see stuff. You’ll be tempted to join in the water cooler talk. That’s a waste of time. Keep an eye out for violations of company values that impact the reputation of the business and the experience of the customer. Ignore the other stuff.

13. Be confident
Hard work, serving others, generosity, and self-sacrifice will bear fruit.

14. Look on the bright side
Don’t give in to adversity. Businesses, like people, experience failure. Don’t worry about it. Learn from it.

15. Stick around
Commit to the company. You don’t have to stay for the rest of your career, but job hoppers rarely achieve excellence or make a lasting contribution.

How to Take Action- Have your executive team to observe their direct reports and every month, specifically and publicly recognize an employee who embodies at least two of the fifteen ways.