Managing Millennials

No matter which side of 1980 you were born, the title of this article may cause you to roll your eyes. Baby boomers and Generation X managers sometimes have preconceived notions about the age group known as millennials. Alternatively, millennials tire of generalizations about themselves and taking the blame for ruining everything older generations hold dear.

Millennials may get a bad rap, but they’re a force to be reckoned with—those born after 1980 will make up 75% of the workforce by 2025. It’s important for managers to set aside any false, negative perceptions of millennials and focus on creating a high-performing team of multigenerational employees.

Millennials have different motivations when it comes to their careers and work ethic. Here are some important points to consider:


Money isn’t always a key motivator for a millennial. It’s not that they don’t value money, but they also appreciate what a company has to offer in non-monetary compensation. Flexible hours, challenging/interesting workload, opportunities to network, or boutique benefits, like bringing your pet to work, are all valued by this generation. Work isn’t everything—a millennial still wants a life outside the office.


While millennials are looking to reach the top, it’s not always for the glory of being the CEO or Vice President. Many millennials seek to use their position to create a positive impact on the world. They strive for a purpose that matters to them and to the community.


Let them know how they are doing before they ask you. They thrive on feedback and expect routine encouragement. The absence of feedback is perceived as an indication that you do not value them as an employee. Providing insight, guidance and empowering a millennial works much better than barking orders. They want a leader who will also respect them.


Millennials are purpose-oriented, not task-oriented. Be sure to discuss the purpose of a project, not just their assigned task. Share the purpose and they will often surprise you with creative and efficient ways to achieve a task. If they lack a connection with the purpose, they will move on.

Marketing to Millennials

If your business depends on effective communication with the millennial generation, Innovative Advertising is here to help. We can assist you with internal corporate communications strategy to create buy-in and motivate action, increase employee engagement and encourage brand ambassadors. Our multifaceted internal advertising campaigns are fluid and aligned with your company’s operations and culture.

The differences in each generation may become diffused over time, but employers who use the unique strengths of millennials in the workforce will have a competitive edge.

Meredith Nolan
Account Leader