“The best leaders are readers of people. They have the intuitive ability to understand others by discerning how they feel and recognizing what they sense.”

— John C. Maxwell

Lindsay Boccardo Smith of Lindsay Smith Coaching was the guest speaker at the Indianapolis Rotary Club meeting.  Her topic was “How to Better Understand, Work with and Manage Millennials”.

I was very intrigued and keen to hear what she had to say as my two children (by definition below) are part of the Millennial Generation. I not only want to assist them in arriving successfully at their 20’s. I want to be understanding and open to watching them maneuver through their 20’s with the final outcome of them being happy and successful. In addition, I have the pleasure of working with Millennials. I don’t want to be considered an old fuddy duddy who can’t learn new ways of working. Again, another great reason to have my listening ears on for Lindsay’s presentation.

Millennials (also known as the Millennial Generation or Generation Y) are the demographic cohort following Generation X. There are no precise dates when the generation starts and ends; most researchers and commentators use birth years ranging from the early 1980s to the early 2000s.

Lindsay was an energetic and dynamic speaker.  She shared in my words the following key take away regarding millennials:

Millennials measure success by connecting values to work life; e.g., how do we take care of the homeless and/or our environment while having a job/career.

What millennials want in the workforce:

  • Flexibility
    • 6 out of 10 millennials would take a 15% pay cut to get a job that matches their values
  • Frequently recognized for their work
    • millennials just got out of school where they were constantly receiving grades/feedback.
    • companies who provide feedback once a month will have a higher millennial retention rate
  • Global opportunities
    • millennials want the opportunity to travel the world with their job
  • Support and Appreciation from their managers/bosses
    • millennials are used to receiving positive reinforcement from their parents and so they enjoy the same in their workplace.

There are three things employers can do to keep millennials employed at their companies:

  1. Involve them
  2. Mentor them
  3. Engage them

If millennials have an emotional connection to their job, this is the #1 thing to keep them at your company. They want to be asked what they did over the weekend or are doing for the weekend. Ask them simple questions. They do want to talk about it.

My key takeaways from the vibrant talk by Lindsay were:

  • Millennials have unique and efficient ways to solve problems
  • ROWE = Results Only Work Environment
  • Millennials make up 45% of the workforce in 2015 and will be over half in 2016

“Whatever you are, be a good one.” – Abraham Lincoln