We think we know everything about the Millennials, but in case you still have an image in your head of young 20-somethings, realize that they are getting married, having babies, buying homes and attending your meetings.
The Millennials are a big group, there are 75 million of them and they make up nearly a quarter of the US population. With 2/5 of them of working age, they are working for you, with you and around you. By 2020, it’s expected that they will take up 50% of the workforce. Here is what you need to know:
They’ve been raised with technology; they were around when the internet took hold and they’ve never let go. They expect to be connected at all times, so WIFI is an absolute must. They will not be unconnected and more than likely annoyed if you ask them to be. Phones at presentations and meetings is not considered rude behavior in their eyes, and for you it could mean that they are sharing information about your meeting with their social circles – which is a great way to get organic growth and free advertising for you, as long as you are doing right by them.
Many hotels are answering their mobile call! Millennials want to book their stay, pay for their stay, unlock their hotel room door, order room service, schedule for luggage pickup and housekeeping all via their mobile devices. They are also accustomed to an app for everything in order to maximize use of time and provide easy access to all they need to obtain and accomplish. There is little patience for having to pick up the phone and be transferred to the right department. They want convenience!
Millennials live their diaries and document everything. They want those selfie moments and Instagram posts to count! Make sure to feed that need in all you do – from photograph-worthy food, shareable moments via selfie stations, and networking opportunities that go beyond business card swapping.
If it smells of old school, they will run the other direction. Rather than classroom style, go with more of an intimate lounge feel. Forget the standard presentation and give it a TED-like feel (and time frame of 18 minutes or less). Also, give them a seat at the table – they like to engage in activities as opposed to passive sitting and listening.
Finally, Millennials expect transparency – who are you, what do you stand for, are you doing good for the planet, are you authentic? Millennials expect disruption in a favorable way – are you redefining your industry, are you dedicated to becoming more sustainable? Millennials want to learn from you, but they also want you to listen to them so they can help you to be better.
Meet those Millennials where they are and they will show up at your meetings!