Three Tips for Motivating Millennials

by Ethan Martin


Millennials, a generation scorned by some and celebrated by others. Regardless of how you feel about millennials, business statistics tell us that in the next 10 years 75% of the global workforce will be made up of this generation.

I know some of you probably just shuttered in your seat, but I have great news! Millennials aren’t lazy or spoiled, but simply misunderstood. This is a generation that defies contemporary logic about what motivates workers, not one without ambition or passion.


For decades money has been the driving force for many workers; Employees sought raises, promotions, and titles. However, Millennials think differently than their older counterparts. I’m not saying they will work for free, but they typically value something above money…PURPOSE. It is a sense of mission that drives millennials to show up on time, stay late, and put in the hours to get the job done. This generation wants to be a part of something meaningful. It’s when they feel their work has no meaning, they check out.

This knowledge is key to motivating millennials, because taking time to foster their sense of impact and innovation can make them some of your top producers.

Here are 3 ways you can better motivate the millennials on your staff:

1. Millennials want to make a difference.

The Millennials on your team probably strive to make the world a better place or at least make their mark. They want their work to make the world more innovative, compassionate, sustainable, and happier. On the surface, not every job does this directly, but with the right perspective and COMMUNICATION about your company's mission and vision you can build that connection with their purpose. 

2. Millennials want to be connected AND recognized.

Traditionally, companies have stingy with recognition for good work.  The assumption is that one SHOULD do good work because it is their job!  However,  recognizing your millennials (and ALL your team members for that matter--everyone loves to feel appreciated) and reminding them how important their contributions are to the team’s overall mission goes a long way in motivating them to do their best. 

Regular feedback sessions are key in guiding millennials to understanding expectations.  Take this opportunity to create a mentoring relationship, which builds TRUST. 

3. Millennials care about your company’s core values.

For years a company could simply put their mission statement on a plaque or paint their core values on a wall, but modern companies have to DEMONSTRATE their core beliefs. Millennials are watching to see if their companies are who they say they are. They want to work in a place that implements its core values and mission. When they see this, it will dramatically increase their loyalty to the company.

Millennials are forcing companies and leadership to change the status quo about work.  Some choose to view it as a negative, however if you intend to succeed in the future marketplace, you need to adapt to the changing workforce.  

Changing the status quo about work is helping work be better for employees and for employers.  

How have millennials changed your company? 

How are you changing the way you work to keep up with the new expectations in the talent force?  

Please leave a comment!  




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