Managing and motivating millennials

Hoopla Sofware recently released a report on how to manage and motivate millennials by its founder and CEO Michael Smalls.

The 5 keys –

  1. Provide strong, involved management
  2. Connect work to a higher purpose
  3. Make recognition impactful
  4. Make work challenging, engaging and fun
  5. Leverage modern technology

I’m not a millennial – far from it, and yet, these concepts resonated with me. Perhaps we should all take a look at the actions and apply them to our situations. And if you want to know more about millennials, read the report for statistics and other findings.

Provide Strong, Involved Managed

While millennials often have no qualms about challenging authority, it doesn’t mean that they don’t want feedback and check-ins. In my role as a supervisor, I provide weekly feedback to everyone on my team. It ranges from an acknowledgement of a job well done to a discussion about how to implement a campaign to brainstorming stories to pitch. This interaction also ensures that we are in agreement on how we define success.

Connect Work to a Higher Purpose

Millennials want to see how the companies they work for are making the world a better place, and how they can contribute to those efforts, says The Intelligence Group’s Jamie Gutfreund, who was quoted in the Hoopla report.

Make Recognitions Impactful

I don’t know of any employee (myself included), who doesn’t like to be told they are doing a good job. However, I once had a boss who praised me for what I considered the basics of the job. Before long, the praise meant nothing. Praising for going the extra mile is more meaningful. It’s also important to provide the recognition when the accomplishment happens. Awards banquets are all well and good, but if the employee has to wait a year until he hears he has “done good,” it’s going to have limited impact. Finally, be sure to follow a piece of advice I was given early in my career, “Praise publicly, criticize privately.”

Make Work Challenging, Engaging and Fun [Photo of Ghostbuster doughnuts]

In working with interns, one of the things I frequently hear is, “I appreciate knowing how my work fits into the bigger picture.” That means taking the time to explain the assignment and the impact of it on the business. When an intern’s media release is picked up by a news outlet, I send a link showing where his work was placed.

doughnutsTeam meetings are important and sometimes it’s important to make them about more than just the work. When Krispy Kreme came out with Ghostbusters doughnuts, I bought a box to enjoy during a meeting. On a nice day, we might hold the meeting outside.

Leverage Modern Technology

Working in communications should mean that we are communicating on relevant platforms, including social sites. Through millennials, though, I’ve learned about apps that help me be more productive. Like them, I often get my news from Twitter and Facebook (I still also read a print newspaper). And I think more about visuals; after all, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Are you ready to work like a millennial?

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