4 Ways to Better Communicate with Millennials
As parents, we raised them to pursue their passions. Millennials have been told, ever since they were young children, that they must have a Purpose. They want to be engaged with activities that they think are worth their time. It’s not just money, although they do like money. But they also want to have a purpose. It’s really endearing. We should all aspire to that. It’s a good thing. But because they are purpose-oriented, this makes them a little harder to reach. You need to make sure that whatever you’re saying really connects with them. It has to be relevant to them personally. So, how you communicate to them about your company and its purpose is critical. The way you do that is through Authenticity. Millennials have a good B.S. detector. They know when you’re just feeding them a line. As a parent, you know that they know! Credibility matters. Whatever you’re saying as a leader, it’s got to be credible and believable. When Millennials buy into something, they’ll run through fire. They’ll do amazing things. They’ll work harder and they’ll commit their creativity and energy into what you’re asking. But it has to be authentic. They also want to be part of a Community. They’ve grown up connected to large groups thanks to social media. They want to feel like they are part of something that represents their values and something they can be proud of. That’s an incredible insight for any leader. There’s power in building and encouraging a community. That’s for Millennials and non-Millennials. This is a wonderful opportunity to be inclusive and diverse in your approach to problem-solving as you create something together. So, how do you reach them? You need to understand that Millennials think and communicate differently. They are Mobile Natives. Relevant information has been delivered directly to their mobile phones for their entire lives! In real time! Through texts. Through alerts. Through push notifications. They live on their phones. Except at work! We don’t seem to be able to let them do this on the job. That’s a problem. And that’s just not going to work for organizations today when Millennials are half of your workforce. Finally, a bit of Recognition goes a long way. Acknowledge that they’re working hard to do what you ask. It’s not just about, ‘Can I get a bonus? Can I get a raise?’ They want to be publicly recognized. They want to be seen for being part of this community and for doing what’s right. So, to make all of this resonate, it comes down to employee communication and engagement. You have to be honest with yourself and ask some hard questions. How successful are you and your company in creating, articulating and distributing messages that show your authentic purpose as a company? Are you and all the leaders in your company living the values that you’re asking your employees to stand by? If you’re not, this generation will call “gotcha!” They will put it on Twitter. They’ll Instagram it. They’ve been raised their entire lives with a media cycle of gotcha news. And now, that’s who is coming to work. But there’s an easy fix. Just be real. Say what you’re going to do and do what you say! Show that you mean it. Then you’re in great shape. I’m hopeful that this video has helped you better understand this incredible demographic change in today’s workforce. Again, the five things to remember about communicating with Millennials: Purpose. Authenticity. Community. Recognition. Mobile Natives. My experience is that Millennials can re-energize your entire enterprise. But you have to meet them on their terms.