Herding the Millennial Troops

by Corey Mangold
Co-Founder/Principal at Gigasavvy

Born in 1980, I am what is still considered the first year (some say second year) of the millennials. As the principal of a creative marketing agency that employs nearly 40 millennials, I have a lot of input and tips when it comes to successfully managing millennials and getting the most out of them. The millennial generation has received a lot of negative flack for things that aren’t necessarily true, and in many cases should be blamed on how they are managed. As a business owner in Southern California, I am constantly speaking with other business owners and hearing their thoughts and complaints. In nearly every case, I’m able to guide them and give them the tools to manage millennials properly and get the best quality work out of them.

The fact is, they’re often smarter, more tech savvy, more globalized and better in written communication than earlier generations. I know you’re sitting there shaking your head, saying, “No way, not the ones I’ve worked with.” Again, if they aren’t managed in a way that fits their work style, then like anyone, they’ll be set up for failure. In any environment, if you can’t communicate effectively with others, the mission will be compromised.

Many business leaders once thought that the millennial generation challenges authority too much, can’t work in a corporate cubicle environment and aren’t dependable. The first two statements are not only accurate, but should be embraced. Challenging authority is what helped shape our country into the country it is today. I remember my parents speaking about the late 1960s and 1970s and stating how oppositional they were to government and authority. This led them to think for themselves, inspire social changes and make our country smarter and stronger. Those hippies inspired amazing revolutions and advancements in our society. And who in their right minds want to work in a corporate cubicle environment. Those jobs are stale, boring, and the companies that support that environment are stuck in the Stone Ages. The companies that are constantly growing, innovating and improving are the companies that threw out the cubicle and embrace open work spaces, lounges, bars, ping pong and pool tables.

In my new building, I had built for us a regulation bowling alley and 3,000-square-foot lounge and entertainment area — a significant investment that has not only helped me land new enterprise clients, but attract incredible talent.

So what’s the moral of the story? Embrace millennials, hire them, train them and give them the environment they deserve. Call the office furniture liquidator and dump those cubicles and open up the work space. Inspire people to work in teams and collaborate. Ask your staff to challenge management and challenge each other. Ask them to question everything they do to see if it’s the best they can do, the best way to accomplish it, or whether there is a smarter, more effective way. Leverage the thought processes of the millennials and it will pay dividends. The millennial generation has been responsible for more financial, technological and globalized advancements in the last 15 years than the rest did in the last 200 years.

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Corey Mangold is a Co-Founder and Principal at GigaSavvy in Irvine, California.
Corey’s team of millennials were the brains behind the new kbsrealty.wpengine.com website.