8 Ways Marketers Can Better Manage Millennials

Bob Armour, the CMO of Jellyvision, is the third oldest person working at his company. “As you can see, I’m not a millennial,” he told the audience at the AMA’s 2018 Marketing Week Live conference.

Even though he isn’t a millennial, Armour manages mostly millennials at Jellyvion, a Chicago company that has been lauded for its youth-friendly work environment.

“The kids at the office, the millennials, … they’re not the kids anymore,” he says. “They are the office. This isn’t a unique segment of employees: these employees represent 53 million workers in the workforce right now.”

How does Armour manage millennials? He gave the crowd eight bits of advice.

1) Make new employees feel welcome from the start

This is the smart thing to do when hiring any employee, he says. Jellyvision sends new employees a personalized note from HR that tells new employees that they’ve shown smarts, heart and strategy in getting through the interview process. They also send new employees a t-shirt and water bottle, telling the new employee that they’re excited for them to start work. They’ll also give other Jellyvision employees the new employee’s email address so they can send them nice nots.

On the new employee’s first day, they’ll cover the new employee’s desk in balloons, snacks and welcome signs in the hopes that other new employees will visit them. At the end of a new employees first day, every employee at Jellyvision will clap for the new employee as they leave the office. “They know that they’ve been recognized,” he says.

2) Offer flexibility at work

Employees can work from wherever they want to work so long as they get their work done, Armour says. The company has a “Work Anywhere” week where they allow employees to work from wherever they want, then send in pictures to show off their creative workspace.

3) Help them give back

Armour says that Jellyvision has no charity it is committed to, but it matches employee donations up to $75. They also allow employees to email others about auctions, charities, bake sales and other ways to raise money.

4) Make it easy to save money

Saving can be hard to understand for young employees, so Armour says that companies should make sure they’re helping young employees understand 401ks and other pre-tax accounts.

“In terms of helping them live better lives, this is really important,” he says.

5) Celebrate often

Jellyvision holds holiday parties, summer parties and other group celebrations — Mustache Day, a Leap Day celebration — to ensure employees are having fun and recognized for their work.

6) Communicate how employees want to communicate

Most millennials use tech to communicate with colleagues — texting, messaging systems like Slack, video conferences. Although this is true, the majority of millennials still want face-to-face communication. They want to master their jobs, Armour says, and face-to-face meetings are a way they can continue to learn from the masters within the company.

7) Be transparent

Armour says that Jellyvision holds all-company meetings every month and share its financial results, including when financial results aren’t positive. The company sends out surveys to make sure employees have their questions answered.

“Every single one of these gets answered,” he says, something that is important in letting employees know that there are no unanswerable questions or barriers to getting their questions answered.

8) Have a mission they can believe in and buy into

Millennials, especially talented millennials, know that they have leverage in today’s job market. Companies should work to create an atmosphere that they’re proud to work in. Google tries to speak to this greater purpose with their “don’t be evil” mantra; when companies called the company out when it worked with the U.S. Department of Defense, many employees quit the company and protested against their work. “In their eyes, this was evil,” Armour says.