How to Motivate the Millennial Workforce
Who Are the Millennials?

Generation Y (the New Millennials) were born between 1980 and 2000 (estimated to be 80–90 million). Born to Boomer and early Gen Xer parents into our current high-tech, neo-optimistic times, these are our youngest workers.

Millennials are technologically adept, agile learners and tend to be impatient. They are currently 38% of the workforce, but they will be 75% of the workforce by 2025.

Motivating Millennials

What's different about how Millennials are motivated at work? The key for motivating Millennial employees is understanding how the Millennials view the world and using that knowledge to help them be at their best. Accept them and don't try to force them to be like other generations. Tap into their intrinsic motivation aligned with core values.

Millennial employees are willing to put in the time to do the job, however they are uninterested in superficial "face time" at work - the concept that just being seen working long hours is impressive and valued. While Baby Boomers tend to see time as something to invest to get ahead, the younger generations view it as a valuable currency not to be wasted. These are the generations that expect work-life balance and paid time off. They want to get the job done, and then enjoy life.

Managing Millennials

What if you get to manage and coach some of the bright and energetic Millennials who have landed jobs at companies like Facebook, Amazon or Google? What works?

For example Facebook has over 5,000 of the smartest young and motivated employees anywhere. According to one executive at Facebook, at least 20% of employees get to work with an Executive Coach! Millennials highly value coaching to improve their performance.

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, says that they hire people to do what they love, "We hire trailblazers, hackers and pioneers. We want people who can solve challenging problems, make a real impact and build something big."

Common values of Gen Y are often cited as, "values driven", "need to know why", and "peer oriented". Facebook values are described as: "Be bold", "Be open", "Get feedback constantly", "Build social value", and "Make the world a better place".

To motivate employees at Facebook there is a flat structure, few offices or cubes, personalized benefits, and a wellness center that employees feel free to use at any time of the day. Healthy food is free as is dry cleaning.

Developing Milllennial Leaders

Useful development questions at Facebook, Google and at other organizations that are full of socially conscious Millennials are:
  1. What will you do today and this week to personally connect the people around you with our mission?
  2. What will you do today to best leverage your core strengths at work?
  3. Ask your peers, what could you do today and this week to create even more positive impact? (At Facebook teams are purposely structured as small so that the individual can have a big impact.)
Facebook leaders believe that 20 percent of one's leadership development comes from informal coaching, formal individual executive coaching, mentorship programs, topical brown bag meetings. "Hackathons" where people work through the night (but with the one rule that you can't work on your day job are prized events for motivated Millennials.

Facebook has been rated by employees as the number one place to work by the independent Glassdoor evaluation company. Facebook's values a leadership and coaching culture - focused on the values of their employees. The payoff is an extremely engaged workforce.

Facebook employees are bright, genuine, and driven people. Employees believe the company and leadership truly want to make the world a better place. It's a healthy and fun work atmosphere that enables people to reach their potential. Employees are empowered take risks and make a real impact. Friends are encouraged to also come to work there.

You can learn how to better motivate Millennial employees by working with a professional coach. The investment is well worth the reward: your ability to influence the future, your career and your personal-development capabilities.

Business consultant Cam Marston presents further insights into motivating Millennials in Motivating the “What’s in It for Me?” Workforce (2007, John Wiley & Sons). Marston suggests you tap into the Millennial’s intrinsic motivation and values to achieve success.

Are you working in a company where executive coaches provide leadership development to help leaders better motivate Millennial employees? Does your organization provide executive coaching for leaders who need to be more positive about the Millennials? Mindful leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to create a more fulfilling future.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “Am I a leader who motivates young individuals to achieve their highest potential, flourish at work, experience elevating energy and achieve levels of effectiveness difficult to attain otherwise?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching to help leaders develop their Millennial employees.