8 Ways to Communicate Better with Gen Y (Millennials)

Because they are more valuable than you think!

The Millennials, or Generation Y, have been called many things: money-minded, hippie-mentality, rebellious, not loyal, talks fast, can’t focus, and the list goes on. Truth is, they are not as different as the rest of the generations. It’s just because of their upbringing and surrounding of fast-pace technology all the time, they are wired a little different.

(Frankly, they would say the same thing about babyboomers and Generation X, who were brought up in a post-war world. Trust me, you wouldn’t want me to mention their remarks here.)

So for this week, I thought of compiling 8 tips that help you communicate better with the Gen-Ys.

1. Instant Reward

Yup, growing up in a fast-pace world means they can get things fast. Communicate mini short term goals that are aligned with the long term ones, and entice them with it. We’ve talked about 3 ways to motivate people a few weeks back, and you can get some insights from there too.

2. Cut the Corporate BS

Thanks to social media, Gen-Ys are more exposed, so they know what really is going on. Research shows more often than not, if you make the effort to explain the situation to them, they will understand better. Remove the fluff, and keep it real.

3. Involve and Consult Them (value their ideas)

Because of their exposure, they have many ideas and opinions going through their head. Ask them questions like “Hey, I’m not guaranteeing that you ideas will be implemented, but I wanted to know your opinion on mobile marketing.”

4. Focus on Growth

Well, as much as you may think that Millennials are motivated by money, I’ve personally seen many taking on jobs with much lesser pay, just because it provides growth opportunities. Send them for trainings, gift them books, bring them out for learning lunches. They will appreciate you for it.

5. Regular Feedback

In line with growth, these young corporate warriors love being feedback to- given in the right way- of course. Yelling, nagging and forcing aren’t going to work. Instead, try this simple method: “Adnan, I’ve been observing your work for a while, and you’re doing great. Can I give you some feedback to improve further?”

6. Asking Why is not Always Undermining

Unlike the older (*ahem mildly sensitive) employees in the company, it is okay to ask the Gen-Ys the Why question. Asked in the right tone, they won’t feel you undermining them. Instead, they value the chance you have give them so they can voice their views.

7. Mentoring Works Well

Just as you and I have agreed that they are growth-centric, the Millennials are also seeking for guidance, or Big Brother in the office.

8. Leverage on Technology

You will probably notice kids nowadays can pick up a game, and score a 3-stars win within 15 minutes, while we’re still fumbling through the instructions. Let them work with technology because it is in their blood, and you’ll see them do wonders with it.

Communicating across generation is not difficult. We just need to remember the golden rule of “different strokes for different folks”.

Oh hey. Speaking about “strokes”, if you want to learn more cutting-edge communication techniques, while not join us at Richard La Faber’s Power Communications workshop? You’ll learn things like:

  • How to structure your messages so it’s more influential
  • How to emphasise on the right words for maximum effectiveness
  • How to use body language to your advantage
  • How to pick the best methods used by Obama, Jobs and other charismatic communicators
  • and more!
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