mil·len·nial /miˈlenēəl/

My company has a world-wide training facility just outside Chicago. I had the fortune of serving as a faculty to a very bright group in St. Charles. It was challenging assignment given the diversity and range of experiences of our audience. The primary goal was to equip the group with a technology foundation so that they can help implement large programs at enterprise clients.

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Most of the participants were millennials — wired to their smart phones and very much in tune with modern pop culture and social media.  Here are some takeaways:

* Millennials are driven and seek efficiency in everything they do, judging by the number of smart phone apps they use daily. They get bored easily.

* Millennials connect easily and quickly grasp ideas from their shared experiences. Collaboration is not something which needs to be taught. However, the right tools can be rolled out and moderated to promote ideas. Firms which are investing heavily in social media tools will understand their workers and customers much better.

* Sustainability and Eco are hot topics. Do-gooders want meaningful work to ensure loyalty and longevity in their careers. It was a challenge to share war stories which go beyond helping a client achieve business goals. Corporate Social Responsibility programs make a difference in the community and help retain your rock star employees.

* Winning is also about having fun. Employee engagement goes up if winning can be gamified in creative ways. Millennials love to compete.

* Companies like ours would benefit by crowdsourcing small projects.  A program was recently rolled out offering “job jars” for consultants on the “bench.”  These “job jar” programs can be utilized more widely.

* The short video format was popular via movie clips and TED talks . These helped connect the dots towards a bigger vision. Long speeches and dry topics do not resonate with this group. Every project has meaning and some could make the world a better place. Leaders need to drive home the point. Here’s a good example: http://tinyurl.com/mx7bhbk

Recent studies indicate that over 70% of the global workforce will be under 30 years old by 2024. And they are available 24×7.

It boils down to this: Will millennials buy your products or consider working for you? Are you ready for them?

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