Some days ago, I talked with a friend about the difference between my generation and those of millennials (born in the ’80 e ’90 of last century) and post-millennials (born between the last years of last century and today); actually, I argue very often with a post-millennial – my son – and sometimes we don’t understand each other – and the same goes, I discovered, for other mothers and fathers.
There is a difference between us and them, as there was between us and our parents; but oftentimes, when we see this difference but don’t accept it (or don’t understand it), we create a deep fracture between generation, which is detrimental to all.
Yet, understanding could be the key and the way out, as is shown by an awesome post by Julia Dhar, Partner at Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Leader of Behavioral Economics and Behavioral Insights Initiatives.
According to Julia Dhar, three are the strategies to motivate and engage Millennials (and I would add that probably the same goes for post-millennials born in the early years of this century):
focus millennials on team identity, not outcomes. Since from our early years we tend to think in individualistic ways and grades at school don’t help. Shifting the focus to team work could motivate also individuals who won’t be engaged by themselves (Dhar worked with a group of managers who believed they already knew everything about being leaders. Helping them define an identity as “Leaders who learn” resulted in more openness to feedback and more willingness to share their own learning journey with their superiors as well as subordinates).
inspire them with meaning, not money: millennials are passionately committed to missions they care about. So, helping them see how their job responsibilities connect with the value their organization creates in the world will engage them more than money.
craft a culture of peer championship and champion peers: millennial e post-millennial are infinitely more social than us and are more prone to share their success and receive/give thumbs up and thumbs down. Working in team and giving them the opportunity of socially sharing their success stories could motivate them, as well as receiving feedback form colleagues on what has been done well and what could be done better.