The Care and Feeding of your Millennials.

How to get the best from and give the best to your Millennial Employees.

There has been so much written about the current generation. How they act, how they think, what they believe, how they are SO Different!  Every generation has their differences and idiosyncrasies. Millennials follow the same generational patterns - like we were, they simply ARE different.


In some companies, the tipping point is already here. Whether it's opinions on meetings or what they should be doing at work everyday or simply opinions about each other; the two largest generational demographics in the history of the world have a lot to work out. And not working it out is costing companies millions of dollars.

Millennials view work as a key part of life, not a separate activity that needs to be balanced by it. For that reason, they place a strong emphasis on finding work that’s personally fulfilling. But what does that mean, exactly? They want work to afford them the opportunity to:

·         Connect with people and make new friends

·         Learn new skills

·        Have a sense of accomplishment

·         Connect to a larger purpose

That sense of purpose is a key factor in their job satisfaction; according to our research, they’re the most socially conscious generation since the 1960s. Creating this "sense of purpose" is the first place where The Millennial Project can help.  (Click to connect or call 303.883.8001)

“By 2025, Generation Y will make up roughly 75% of the world’s workforce, today (2014) its about 49%. With this many Millennials making up the majority of the workforce by 2025 — only 13 years away — employers can’t afford not to take notice. - 2011 BPW Foundation Study”

The rapid pace of new technology keeps us focused on how “now” is different from “then.” A product launch can instantly reinvent how we consume media. A wrongful tweet can end a career in a matter of seconds. We go to bed at night wondering, “What might change by the time I wake up tomorrow?”

Middle and senior management are voicing a common frustration: that the junior executives (usually Millennials) show a lack of versatility in their communication styles.  Or do senior managers not know how to talk to them?

They are, by many accounts, an impatient bunch. Give them a new position, and it's a good bet that well before their one-year anniversary in the job, they'll be agitating for something new -- "What's next?  Yo.. Why haven't I been promoted?"  I've heard many people say they wished these young employees would dig in a bit longer not to just learn the job, but also to master and even transform it before raising their hands for something new. And many of these younger employees have similar gripes!  We don't like being "bossed" around, we want to learn, we want to improve, we need coaching not overlords.

Millennials at work

But there are risks in demanding more patience from young, talented workers. After all, if they get bored, they may easily decide to go somewhere else where they get (or think they might get) more opportunities to move around. But once they leave... they are gone.

One senior executive puts it this way. "They care less about money and more about learning. We want there to be a certain percentage of the company that moves every three months between departments and does new jobs. One of the things I track is what percentage of the company changed jobs in the last three months. If that’s flattening out, I get worried because I know these Gen Y’ers will leave if they’re not moving around."

So what do we do? There are as many changes that senior management has at it's disposal as there are effective ways to improve, guide and coach our Gen Y's to improve, be happier, be better and be more productive.  The Millennial Project is here to help you improve communication, cooperation, coordination with all employees at all levels. We help you create the two-way communication needed to succeed in today's multi-generational workplace.  We not only help Gen Y's hear and understand, we help middle and senior management learn how to talk to them!

Modern society is shifty terrain. Human nature, on the other hand, is not.  “You can’t change human nature,” is an adage repeated by everyone and attributed to no one.  Finding commonalities with others begins with identifying the motivations we all share as human beings.

Millennials or Gen Y is the generation born approximately between 1977 and 1995. In the US alone there are approximately 79.8 million members of Gen Y.

The conversation about managing Millennials usually focuses on generational differences. "Digital Natives", "the Me generation", "lazy", "optimistic", "entitled", "narcissistic", "short attention spans" "instantly gratified" are a few common labels.  The refrain of "Why can't they be like we were, perfect in every way?" comes to mind.

A key issue between Gen Y and everybody before them is what we call "rate of learn". They are not only seeking instant gratification, they have instant information. More data is available more quickly than ever before in the history of mankind. Now, access to information is at our fingertips and Gen Y has had it in their hot little hands their entire lives. So, you say, what difference does this make? Well lots! Now virtually anything that you want to know is at your fingertips. Google saw to that. The rate of learn for Millennials changed the landscape. Many of us in previous generations had to figure out where to find something or how to figure something out, how to get something done, how to get somewhere, what something meant. This took time, thought, and OMG! effort!



The manner in which each generation assimilates data differently causes tremendous rifts between generations. We literally think differently. Therefore we learn differently, we work differently, we behave differently, we communicate differently, we respond differently. To understand how to work with other generations is key to the success of today's organizations. This causes tremendous frustration and even conflict at work. The way we used to do it just doesn't apply, it doesn't work anymore. So if you want to get the best from by giving the best to your Millennials, you not only have to do things differently, you have to do different things.

In addition, the entire recruiting landscape has changed. This creates a frustrating challenge for companies of every size seeking to attract their next generation of talent.

So rather than focusing on the differences, we need to change the conversation to focus on commonalities and communication. This is where The Millennial Project can help.  (Click to connect or call 303.883.8001)

Understanding what motivates us to behave the way we do has occupied psychologists for generations. There are three major schools of thought on what motivates behavior:

  1.     Outside influences (Ivan Pavlov and Behaviorists);
  2.     Unconscious and uncontrollable urges (Sigmund Freud and Psychoanalytic Theorists); and
  3.     Striving to reach one’s full potential (Abraham Maslow and the Humanists.)

While each of the three groups has its influence on organizational management; it’s Humanistic Psychology, which sprung from Maslow’s theories, that has been most widely used as the basis of understanding motivations in the workplace. In 1954, nine years after introducing the infamous hierarchy of needs, Maslow published the book, “Motivation and Personality.” In a keystone chapter, “Unmotivated Behavior,” Maslow explains the tension between our desires to be our true self and to be the person we are expected by others to be.

If we accept the existence of these desires and the tension between them as true, then it helps us understand the "entitled" and "narcissist" behavior of Millennials as the common soul searching and pleasure seeking we all experience.

Balancing between self and others, between meeting expectations and going our own way, is a lifetime journey as we continually try to live out the best life that we can realize. Millennials may strive to reach their full personal potential in ways that are different from how Xers or Boomers have generally done it. Millennials have tools that previous generations did not have and live in a society that did not exist when the earlier generations began their careers.

So a 28 year old today, does not behave, learn, relate or assimilate like a baby boomer did. This creates an immediate divide in terms of expectations, understanding, and perceptions; which is frustrating to many leaders as well as the Millennials they are trying to engage. This divide is only going to get worse as many Millennials continue to “untraditionally” step into adulthood while many baby boomer (managers) continue to try to "teach" them in “outdated” ways. This is where we can help.

Shaping a work environment where Millennials feel encouraged to be their best starts by identifying with this core motivation and desire. Thinking of ways to tap into this universal motivation to be the best self we can imagine is a more productive conversation then one focusing on our differences. This is where The Millennial Project can help. (Click to connect or call 303.883.8001)

Understanding where "they are coming from" goes a long way to helping them (and YOU) get where you want to be and where you want them to be. Stephen Covey once said "Seek first to understand, then to be understood." This holds true today more than ever.

This has created a fundamental difference in learning styles. Making for fundamental differences in the way we need to communicate effectively. This is where The Millennial Project can help.   For more information visit