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The millennial generation—generally considered to include people born from the early 1980’s to the late 1990’s—now makes up a significant percentage of the global workforce. While the younger members of the generation are still in high school or college, many millennials have been working for several years and have already moved into management roles.

If your work hasn’t brought you into contact with a large number of millennials already, that will undoubtedly change shortly. As America’s largest generation it’s important to understand this key demographic and what millennials tend to expect from their jobs, so you can keep them engaged in their work on a daily basis.

Millennials: Focus on Enagagement and Collaboration

Familiarize Yourself with the Millennial Mindset
You’ve probably heard plenty of generalizations about millennials in recent years. Many commentators view them as flighty, uncooperative and unwilling to do the work necessary to earn the success they expect. Rather than take a reductive view, it is far more productive to instead try to understand what really makes the millennial generation tick.

While every millennial is unique, people of this generation tend to share certain views about themselves and their careers:

  • Millennials generally do not define themselves in terms of their careers, and change jobs much more frequently than members of other generations. In fact, some surveys indicate that the average millennial changes jobs every two years.
  • Most millennials have a strong desire to be involved in the decisions that determine what they will work on and what they will be expected to do.
  • Millennials are highly technically proficient, and tend to prefer communicating via social media and instant messaging and other forms of interactive communication rather than “old fashioned” email.

Provide Opportunities for Cross-Training and Professional Development
One effective way you can help keep your millennial team members engaged is by giving them the opportunity to learn new skills. When you see that a team member has a few hours or days of down time during a project, ask if he or she would like to shadow another team member on a new task or sit in on meetings related to a separate workstream. Millennials are less likely to jump from job to job if they feel that they are continually learning in their current positions.

Encourage Collaboration
How engagement-driven is your enterprise? You can dramatically improve employee engagement among millennials by providing access to Clarizen’s workplace collaboration tools. With Clarizen, team members can share ideas, updates and other important information, while keeping all of their conversations and project details in a central location. With its interactive tools and real-time functionality, Clarizen also makes it easy to involve team members in discussions about task assignments and project timelines, allowing them to see the big picture rather than just a small piece. It’s not just true for millennials but for your entire workforce: if they see how their work connects to a larger and more meaningful purpose, they are committed to the outcome and are motivated and inspired to do more.

Want to learn more? Take a Clarizen Product Tour today.

Angela Bunner
Angela has 17 years of experience in the project portfolio management space, mostly with Oracle, as well as with NetSuite, before joining Clarizen where she is a Director of Product Strategy and Sales Engineering. Angela has extensive industry experience in engineering & construction, professional services, aerospace & defense, public sector, as well as working with embedded service organizations such as IT and marketing PMOs.