Marketers debate how to lead millennials in the workforce

‘Let’s stop trying to figuring them out, but understand what motivates them’

Today’s executives need to take a new approach to corporate culture and how they operate in order to develop the up-and-coming millennial generation into the next batch of leaders, marketers participating in this year’s Marketing Academy claim.

Companies need to address shifting demands and market nuances by the younger generation in order to empower future leaders, according to Claire Tenzer, group business director Whybin\TBWA Melbourne.

“It is wrong to think how the generation think today is the way we thought years ago,” Tenzer said. “The people that need to change are us - leaders, future leaders and businesses. And that’s incredibly important because this younger generation are incredibly hungry. They are going to change the world, and they want to change it yesterday. They want to earn more, they want to move faster and they want to have more experiences.”

By 2020, Tenzer said the appetising workforce will be 40 per cent freelance. “And that backs up the fact that people want experience and they want to move on. It is not about 25 years and a gold watch. . . There is huge recruitment churn.

“Let’s stop trying to figure them out, and instead understand what motivates them so we can lead them, rather than manage them.”

Head of customer category for Coles at Carlton United Breweries, Zoey Saunders, agreed millennials need to be properly understood.

“There are 6.4 million millennials in Australia and they are now the largest portion of the workforce,” she said. “They have been collectively grouped together and been called disruptive, which essentially isn’t true. They have a pivotal role as a generation and they have a completely new bent on the world.”

Saunders identified four key motivators influencing this diverse group of individuals: Flexibility; self-direction; real time feedback; and continued training and development.

“They see the effects of work/life balance on older generations and it is no longer the necessary evil of parenting. It is actually a right that everyone should have. They see it as an enabler to unlock their full potential in life,” she said.

“They are incredibly self-aware. They have a strong value set they understand and they will make choices based on that. They want to choose their own path, set their own agenda. They don’t want a career that is controlled by someone else. They will be the captain of their own ship.”

While many in the marketing and advertising space talk about millennials being needy and requiring instant reassurance, the reality is they need a constant conversation that enables them to get feedback, Saunders continues.

“People also say they are all about the result and it’s all about the outcome. Yes, they are hungry for a result, but they want to enjoy the ride as well,” she said. “It is as much about the journey as it is about the destination.”

Saunders said one way to help unlock the potential in this generation is to focus on ‘appmin’ rather than admin.

“If it’s quicker, easier and more intuitive, then it will save everyone time,” she said. “For this generation, the mobile is an extension of their soul and a remote control for life.”

Another key is to foster a shared, positive purpose. “They really believe in the greater good and want to make a difference,” Saunders said. “There’s nothing stopping organisations getting them involved across the board, so allow them to provide feedback on creative, help set strategy, and involve them in company culture. There are a number of things we can do to get them involved in projects to work on and feel proud because they feel like they are making a difference.”

Saunders also suggested companies need to empower startup mentality. “Let them be nimble, agile, flexible. . . Encourage them to try and ensure them it is okay to fail,” she advised.

“And while you’re on this journey, listen with authenticity, with vulnerability and share your experiences because they want to be mentored and coached. They just don’t want to be managed.

“Most importantly, let’s inspire them. They are hungry for information, they have an unquenchable curiosity about life and as the world moves at a faster pace, we can really harness that to stretch their thinking and unlock their potential.”

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

Is AI on course to take over human creativity?

Computers and artificial intelligence have come along at an exponential rate over the past few decades, from being regarded as oversized adding machines to the point where they have played integral roles in some legitimately creative endeavours.

Jason Dooris

CEO and founder, Atomic 212

Are you leading technology changes or is technology leading you?

In a recent conversation with a chief technology officer, he asserted all digital technology changes in his organisation were being led by IT and not by marketing. It made me wonder: How long a marketing function like this could survive?

Jean-Luc Ambrosi

Author, marketer

Disruption Down Under – What’s Amazon’s real competitive advantage?

Savvy shoppers wait in anticipation, while Australian retailers are gearing up for the onslaught. Amazon’s arrival is imminent.

Thanks for picking this up. We are always happy to add richness to our products and in turn the lives of our followers and fans.

Fitbit Middle East

​Fitbit announces new virtual race platform to enhance customer experience

Read more

Thanks for a very interesting article. B2B marketing seems tricky. I think that marketing plays a vital part - it can build the brand and...

Aaren

From tactical overhead to strategic growth driver: B2B marketing in the digital age

Read more

meanwhile loads of people with digital skills are not finding work or getting an opportunity to be hired?? Double standards perhaps.

Graduate dying on centrelink

Report reveals Australia faces digital skills shortage

Read more

These laws are in one way or other giving businesses to VPN service providers & other cyber utilities. Just read PureVPN claiming 37%...

Paige Hudson

Getting prepared for mandatory data breach reporting

Read more

Great Post.Thanks for sharing such an informative article.I have worked with Ally Digital Media and it has a very good service which is b...

Utkarsh Kansara

Predictions: 17 digital marketing trends for 2017

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in