Millennials Surprisingly Like Meetings, Here Are 5 Meeting Requirements To Get Their Full Engagement

While meetings are under assault (in a recent Harris poll, 46 of respondents said they’d prefer to do almost anything else instead of sit in a status meeting), Millennials actually favor in-person work meetings as an opportunity to showcase their skills and build relationships with leadership. But Millennials have high expectations on how the meetings are organized, led and the use of technology to drive participant engagement. Fail to deliver and you’ve lost them.

According to Pew Research, Millennials are now one third of the U.S. workforce and a key corporate recruitment target illustrated by companies moving to downtown locations. In Chicago alone, McDonald’s, Motorola and Kraft Heinz have or are in the process of relocating to the city center where young people live. Their preference for “work anywhere” or mobile situations create the need to bring distributed, flat teams together on neutral ground, for connection, focused discussion and alignment.

At Workspring, an offsite team meeting center in Chicago, we know a thing or two about successful meetings and engaging millennial participants. We’ve served 747 plus teams in offsite meeting experiences since opening eight years ago. Our team hosts multiple customized meeting experiences every week, involving 2 to 80 participants per meeting, hosting teams from innovative companies across the globe and the Fortune 500, including top 50 Chicago corporations. From our experience, there are five requirements of modern meetings to engage Millennials and maximize their contributions to desired meeting outcomes:

Create meeting “experiences.” Millennials love experiences that they can share with others, usually through social media. Design into your meeting engaging activities that will not only maintain their focus but have them sharing with enthusiasm. We’ve scheduled sushi rolling and yoga stretch breaks for clients as a way of creating buzz.
Design an interactive agenda. Millennials are there to participate and demonstrate their value. Build a purposeful agenda that ensures engagement and allows them to share the stage.
Utilize technology enhancements to improve meeting dynamics. Requirements include easy tech access and wifi for internet research of concepts during the meeting, video participation for remote team members, digital capture of notes to maintain momentum after the meeting. We recently hosted a meeting with an important participant streaming in from Nigeria. For situations like this we use our Double Robotics Telepresence Robot where the remote participant can control the robot from their iPad. The robot gives users the opportunity to see, speak, and move about the room from anywhere.
Use a casual and invigorating environment. Most traditional corporate offices don’t deliver the right setting which is why team leaders turn to Workspring. We have furniture that is easily moved for breakout sessions and different style seating to suit the situation.
Serve healthy meals and snacks. Not only pick the right fuel for engagement but purposefully schedule meals and snack breaks in the agenda. Old-fashioned donuts will only go stale and potentially do the same to your meeting energy!