Cindy Novotny

Calling All Millennials!


Calling all Millennials!  Over the past few months I have been a guest speaker at a University, hosted a focus group with young professionals and had many coffee chats with other “20 somethings” to discuss their thoughts on life as a professional and a consumer.  Each of these conversations highlighted how these individuals look at money, jobs and their future.  There are some points that anyone employing or selling to this generation should pay attention to.

•    They are not as lazy as many people think they are – they are addicted to social media and are all about the ‘ease’ of doing business
•    They have less loyalty if they don’t see any value
•    The millennials are fast learners and hard-working if they feel empowered, engaged and if they know they are adding value
•    They look at the business through a new perspective
•    Communication is an issue with these young people – it is easier to avoid conflict via technology
•    BUT…they appreciate training a lot more than bonuses.  If you want to keep these people, continue to train them
•    They love to collaborate
•    They love transparency
•    They are committed to social causes
•    They expect to be mentored and will seek out a mentor

So what does this all mean?  I see it every day when I get personal calls from these aggressive, young professionals who ask me to mentor them, to coach them and be a valuable adviser to them.  They also have been willing to pay me out of their own pocket.  What this tells me is that these people are hungry for leadership and they are not getting it.  

Remember, they will dominate the workplace by 2020 and in order to attract and keep them you will need to change how you lead and how you set up their work space.  You must have collaborative business centers, social areas to ‘hang out’ and socialize and an easy going feel in the office.  

I know this to be true – my millennials in my office socialize in our team kitchen where we provide the breakfast and lunch, but they do the shopping.  They watch YouTube videos while they eat lunch with each other.  This is NOT a group of narcissistic, entitled employees - it is a group of energetic young people who are not wasting time playing politics.