Tell Me About The Millennials

Last week we talked about Gen X, and before that, we talked about the Baby Boomers.

This week, we’ll discuss Generation Y, also known as the Millennials—those born between 1985 and 2002.

Millennials’ reputation

Unfortunately, as a generation, Millennials have received some widespread criticisms.

“Millennials are tired of getting a bad rap. They’re sick of being called lazy, entitled or high maintenance simply because they played on T-ball teams in which everyone got a trophy and grew up drenched in a constant stream of praise from adults,” shares Katherine Reynolds Lewis in a recent Fortune Magazine article.

As Lewis points out, Millennials are far from their trophy days. They’re now starting families with career goals securely in mind.

So what’s most important to Millennials in the workplace?

First off, Millennials desire to do truly meaningful work in a place that has positive energy and a commitment to innovation.

They want to be challenged, and they want to make a difference.

Millennials also value:

  • Flexible work arrangements
  • Continual feedback
  • Communication via email, phone, and text
  • Mentoring, and other career development opportunities
  • Work life balance
  • The latest technology

What strengths do Millennials bring to the table?

Though each worker carries their distinct abilities and strengths, Millennials tend to bring a few key aspects with them to the workplace.

Millennials generally are:

  • Ambitious (though not always focused)
  • Proponents of diversity
  • Technologically savvy
  • Independent and creative
  • Easy to work on teams and in partnerships
  • Open to new ideas
  • Eager to make a lasting impact

Motivating a Millennial

Now that we know the qualities of Millennials and what they value, how can we best motivate them?

While this month’s download, “Motivating Different Generations” goes into detail about motivating Millennials—and every generation—there are a few motivators to highlight.


1. Millennials are looking for positive challenges

They enjoy working on multiple projects at once, collaborating with team members, and leading initiatives that help the community at large.

They want to make a difference and utilise the highest levels of their skills and abilities.


2. Millennials appreciate flexible schedules and work locations

Rather than a traditional 9 to 5 in a designated office building, Millennials appreciate the ability to work from home, a coffee shop, or far away location.

They believe quality work can be done outside the company’s campus.


3. Millennials thrive on continual feedback

More than generation’s past, Millennials want to be in communication about their performance. They want to know when they’re doing well, but also how they can improve.

This plays into Millennials’ desire to be challenged and work at their highest capacity.


As Lewis shares in Fortune, “Ultimately, they [Millennials] want the same thing that every employee wants: schedule control, meaningful work relationships, and choice of projects and learning opportunities.”

Any questions?

If you have questions on this topic or any others, feel free to reach me by email or set up a free one-on-one consultation session, or drop me a comment below.

Thanks for sharing!