Have you noticed? So-called Millennial “experts” are cropping up everywhere, promoting what they think Millennials want or need in the workplace. However, there’s just one problem … very few of these “experts” have actually managed and inspired Millennials in a hyper-growth business, on a day-to-day basis.

I have. And I still do.

And if we want our businesses to continue to grow, we’re all going to have to learn how to engage Millennials with both traditional and non-traditional workplace practices.

No amount of onsite yoga classes, daily happy hours, “free-thinking Fridays,” or in-house doggie parks (yes, these exist) will ever override good ol’ knowledge and experience. The more you continue to fuel the Millennial demand, the more you cost your company cash while compromising the respect of the other generations in the workplace –namely Generation X and Baby Boomers– who climbed the ladder the traditional way.

I’m Towan Isom. As CEO of a successful national strategic communications and public relations firm with a staff of more than 60% Millennials, I’ve taken my firm to millions of dollars in revenue and a #643 ranking on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing privately owned companies with less than 3% attrition.

I know what I’m talking about because I’m winning with Millennials.

Unfortunately, when you don’t know what to do, you do everything. Throughout my career as a CEO, many C-Suite peers have often confided their frustrations in me. It wasn’t until recently that I started counseling firms on how, exactly, to establish a workforce development program for Millennials within an intergenerational workplace. We need Millennials in the workplace. They bring value when engaged correctly.

I coach my C-Suite executive clients on three immediate things they can do to engage Millennials:

1) Develop a vocabulary sheet for how and when to address leadership,
2) Create a Promotion Chart that outlines expectations at every level for promotion, and
3) Write a list of Appropriate and Non-Appropriate terms that outline what leadership expects from company staff (samples are provided during one-on-one consultations).

The success of your business and our country’s economy is dependent on Millennials success in the marketplace, but they have to be developed, and we have to do it.

Just as there are strategies for integrating affirmative action and cultural awareness in the workplace, there must also be a strategy for managing and mentoring Millennials. The current intergenerational workplace culture presents a number of management challenges for leadership. Generation X and Baby Boomers are frustrated and don’t know where to turn for help. And there are many perspectives on how to engage these dynamic and sometimes frustrating young superstars.

That’s precisely why I created the concise, but effective Managing Millennials Toolkit. It contains 10 of my best Millennial insights, and accompanying strategies for moving from insight to action. (you can download it immediately here. Complete the form and we’ll even mail 5 print booklets to share with your management team.)

You Must Have a Strategy for Managing and Developing Your Millennials

It’s important to note that Millennials are divided into two separate age groups, with each having a distinctive approach to the workplace: “Junior Millennials” (those in their early to mid-20s) and “Senior Millennials” (those in their late 20s to early 30s). I find that most of my colleagues’ concerns relate to Junior Millennials, while Senior Millennials fall on the heels of Gen-Xers and are often themselves frustrated with their junior counterparts.

When managing Millennials in an intergenerational workplace, oftentimes simply saying the word “Millennial” can conjure up phrases like “entitled,” or “dealing with a necessary evil.” As a result, managers are doing anything and everything they can think of to appease them.

However, you must be careful not to promote Millennials simply because they demand it and, as a result, risk alienating your Generation Xers and Baby Boomers. The goal is to ensure a workplace that meets the needs of all parties; both entry-level and seasoned. By setting expectations and preparing Millennials properly, we position them for greater opportunity and our businesses for increased revenue and ROI.

We Must Begin to Practice “Intentional Management”

The insights in this toolkit contain what I call “Intentional Management” strategies. I’ve used these same strategies to hyper-grow my own business, and have trained and consulted peers to integrate them into their workplaces as well.

Some of these intentional strategies include how to train Millennials on their personal value proposition in the workplace. Millennials have to be told that hard work does not create value; rather value is created by developing a personal brand that supersedes their peers. “What do you bring that hasn’t been done, seen, or heard by others in the workplace? Why can’t they replicate or repeat what you do both for and in an organization? What makes you so special?” These are the questions Millennials must learn to both answer and present to an organization during the selection process.

I’m committed to ensuring we prepare this generation, and for the long-term success of your business, you should be as well. If you would like further guidance on how to better engage and retain the Millennials that you manage and increase bottom-line results, schedule a no-obligation one-on-one “Managing Millennials Discovery Session” below. For convenience these can be conducted via Skype.

The one-on-one “Discovery Session” is typically the first step, before engaging in an in-person managing Millennials assessment and strategy session package. These in-person assessment and strategy sessions take place over three days and include interviews with leadership, managers, and Millennials. On-site Millennial Strategy Sessions are led by myself and our senior Millennial team. Once the interviews take place, we present findings, recommendations, and a strategy for moving forward.

However, if you have an urgent situation and need coaching and advice right now in order to stay sane, I set aside a limited amount of time each month to respond to you quickly, click here to book a 60-minute Millennial Management 911 Coaching Session with me. Once you schedule the appointment, you’ll be taken to a comprehensive assessment form that will give me the information I need to give you immediate actionable advice and strategies personalized for your unique workplace culture and environment. You’ll also just feel better, having been heard!

If you aren’t ready to commit to a Managing Millennials solution with me just yet, we have free and low cost resources to help you now:

  • The Managing Millennials Toolkit is free and will give you my top 10 insights to help maximize your company’s revenue by better managing your Millennials.
  • To keep you up to date, when you download the Toolkit, you’ll also receive our free Millennial Matters @ Work  podcast newsletter. You’ll get weekly insight from managers and Millennials on relevant topics to help you better manage, motivate and grow the Millennials on your team, including feedback from my Millennials on what they think about these challenges.
  • Schedule a low-cost, high ROI 20 minute  “Managing Millennials Discovery Session”. You’ll leave the call with a crystal clear picture of your options and know exactly what to do next. (the form is at bottom of this page).

In the meantime, here are a couple of immediate Quick-Start tips:

  • Start with an Expectations list: How you expect Millennials to perform in the workplace.
  • Develop a Corporate Vocabulary: How employees should address one another, standard salutations, etc.

We Need Millennials to Help us Grow our Bottom-line. Like It or Not, They Are the Next Workforce
…and They’re Here to Stay.

Leaders and Managers – Win with Millennials!
Schedule Your Discovery Session
or 911 Coaching with Towan Isom, Today