Millennials (aka Generation Y) are individuals born between the early 80’s and the early 90s. Together they are larger than any previous generation, 80 million globally. In the U.S. it is estimated that 1 in 3 employees is a Millennial and it is projected that Millennials will make up 75 percent of the workforce worldwide by 2025. That’s less than a decade away!
As you enter your meeting spaces and look around you probably see some Millennials, and you’ve likely developed some stereotypes about this group of people. Some positive, others negative. Some are probably true to a certain degree, and others may be clouded by your own generational mindset.
“The Real Reason Millennials Are Distracted in Your Meetings” from Inc.
Let’s explore some findings regarding this generational cohort in the workplace and some ways you can hold effective meetings with Millennials.
- They do love their phones! Many business owners, managers, and supervisors recognized the special relationship between Millennials and their smartphones. Some often complain that these individuals spend more time looking at their devices than the person speaking in a meeting. Their responses to the dynamic can vary from too strict to too lenient. One way of rising above this problem is acknowledge that the speaker may (or may not) have control of the devices people can use, but they DO have control of the content and how they deliver it. Engage Millennials in your meetings – and everyone else in the room – by crafting captivating content, delivering it powerfully and creatively, and encouraging engagement. If you can’t get them to turn off their phones (which would not mean you’ll have their full attention anyways), then find ways to bring their phones into the meeting. Have them take a poll using their phone. Review your social media accounts together. Have them engage in online research for an answer to a problem your company is facing. Encourage them to use their phones to record the meeting or take pictures.
- Choose the right venue! Some research clearly shows that Millennials (like many previous generations in their 20s and 30s) prefer meetings that are held in cities and towns connected to social activities, outdoor adventures, and/or a lively nightlife. Barrister Office Suites have a number of locations that provide superior technology, reliable services, and flexibility – all within a vibrant context that Millennials will love!
- They want face-to-face meetings too! Because of their clear attachment to technology, many older generations assume Millennials aren’t interested in the physical world. That’s not true! Members of this generation understand that some business needs or tasks need to occur face-to-face and they use technology to supplement and interact with “real world” actions, not necessarily to replace them. Related to these meetings in the physical world, Millennials are also keen about business travel. They understand that travelling in order to hold a face-to-face meeting often leads to success. They’re also more comfortable creating and maintaining their personal connections through technology and social media while on the road. In short, they may effortlessly use technology to begin client relationships, but they’re equally comfortable travelling to meet individuals in person.