Finding their voice: How to coach younger people in the workplace

Diversity and Inclusion
Anna Frazzetto

By Anna Frazzetto
November 28, 2023

May 21, 2024

0 min read

In today’s fast-paced business environment, coaching young employees is crucial for fostering talent, enhancing skills and ensuring organisational growth. Young professionals, often belonging to the millennial and Gen Z demographics, bring fresh perspectives, tech savviness and a drive for innovation. However, they also face unique challenges that require thoughtful coaching. Here’s how we can effectively guide them to find their voice and excel in the workplace.

Understand their aspirations

Young employees are not just looking for a paycheck; they seek purpose and personal growth. A study by Deloitte revealed that millennials value learning and development as a key benefit from their employers. Understanding their career aspirations and aligning them with business goals can create a mutually beneficial environment. This approach not only motivates young professionals but also helps in retaining talent.

Foster a culture of continuous learning

Continuous learning is vital in today’s ever-evolving job market. Inc. Magazine highlights the importance of creating a learning culture that encourages curiosity and allows younger employees to explore different aspects of their roles. The junior workforce isn’t seduced by flashy perks and would rather join mission-driven companies that offer opportunities to learn. This can be achieved through mentorship programs, online courses and providing opportunities for cross-functional projects.

Machine Learning Roles in Action

Encourage open communication

Creating an environment where young employees feel comfortable voicing their ideas and concerns is essential. A report by Forbes emphasises the importance of open communication in empowering younger workers. Regular feedback sessions, open-door policies and encouraging team discussions can all help in building a culture of trust and open communication.

Leverage their tech savviness

Younger generations are inherently more tech savvy. Utilising their expertise can lead to innovative solutions and improved efficiency. Encouraging them to lead tech-based projects or to share their knowledge with other team members can be a great way to acknowledge their skills and contribute to their sense of achievement, whilst benefitting the business at large.

Soft skills in machine learning

Promote work-life balance

Work-life balance is a significant factor for younger employees. Flexible working hours, remote working options and respecting their time outside of work can help in reducing burnout and increasing job satisfaction. According to a report by Gallup, 65% of millennials rate good work-life balance and better personal wellbeing as “very important” when considering a new job. This is almost as significant as their desire for an increase in pay or benefits. The report also indicates that millennials are more likely to look for career development, remote work and greater work-life balance​ compared with older generations.

Provide opportunities for leadership development

Young professionals are often eager to take on leadership roles. Providing them with opportunities for leadership development, such as leading a small project or task force, can be instrumental in their professional growth. Encouraging participation in corporate social responsibility initiatives can also resonate with their values and increase their engagement and loyalty to the organisation. This experience not only helps them develop critical leadership skills but also prepares them for future managerial roles.


Recognise and reward their efforts

Recognition plays a key role in motivating younger employees. A study by Harvard Business Review found that Gen Z employees are bringing their values and priorities to work, particularly their desire for transparency around recognition and rewards. Simple gestures of acknowledgment, such as praise in team meetings or small rewards for achievements, can significantly boost morale and productivity.

Coaching younger employees is about creating a nurturing environment that values their unique strengths and addresses their specific needs. By understanding their aspirations, promoting a learning culture and providing opportunities for growth and leadership, organisations can not only harness the potential of young talent but also build a resilient and forward-thinking workforce that is in it for the long haul.

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