How to Capitalize on the Millennial Workforce

By Ashleigh Rothhammer, sales and marketing consultant in Denver, Colorado. Ashleigh is a millennial mother, boss and WIFS advocate.

Millennials grew up in an era of electronic stimulation, digital entertainment and immediate satisfaction. These three environments have created adventurous, technologically savvy and highly emotional workers. Learning to work with and learn from millennials isn’t just healthy, it’s crucial for success.

Working with millennials comes with a learning curve. Let’s be candid, baby boomers and Gen Xers don’t always have the best impression of this group as thought leaders. That is understandable. Rule following, formality and ladder climbing are not their core values. These ideals have been replaced with technology, innovation, education and socially benevolent principles. Regardless, there is a lot that each generation can learn from the other. Let’s take a deeper look at these core values.

Technology

Millennials are all about technological literacy. They crave new and improved ways to accomplish tasks with little effort. They also adapt to new technology very quickly. Harness these skills to help others in your company who are slow to adapt or struggle with technology. This collaborative approach will lead to stronger inter-company communication while ensuring your company is utilizing technology for success.

Multi-Tasking

Let’s talk multi-tasking. Juggling multiple projects, emails, conversations and ideas simultaneously are the millennials’ craft. At home, they frequently stream the latest Netflix series on a tablet while checking social media updates on a smartphone. Millennials can work on several different projects at once, all while being able to provide updates and overviews in an instant. Just like your computer browser, the mind of a millennial can operate with multiple open tabs. Don’t be afraid to collaborate and brainstorm on multiple issues during one meeting. Keep them engaged and you’ll reap the rewards.

Team Players

Although fiercely independent, this generation is known for working well in group settings. Millennials frequently use their expansive social network to seek feedback and discuss ideas. Their social ability gives them a leg up on brainstorming and teamwork. Ensure they have a voice in a collaborative process and they’ll reward you with out-of-the-box ideas that will propel your business into the next stratosphere of success.
Digital Networkers
Millennials have a networking system unlike any before. They’ve been leveraging social media to build relationships since they were pre-teens. The phenomenon of meeting anyone you want whenever you want is their norm, regardless of whether or not they have met IRL (that’s tech speak for in real life.) Older generations can be uncomfortable with the idea of working with someone they have never actually met face-to-face. But it’s important to capitalize on these relationships. This is where business is headed, and those contacts can be important for recruiting, brainstorming and selling.

Research shows that 75,000,000 millennials have or will be joining the workforce. Don’t be the last to learn and grow from these individual and brilliant business professionals (source needed). A successful workplace incorporates all generations and values each one’s skills and strengths. Consider pairing a veteran employee with a Millennial on a project. Make sure important office communication is disseminated in a variety of ways that includes technology. Most importantly, make sure Millennials feel empowered. Allow them to share their technological expertise. Watch, ask, learn and reap the benefits.

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