The most criticized generation in America today: Born from 1980-2000, Millennials are often categorized as lazy, entitled, unrealistic, selfish and socially inept. This workforce is entering your job market, rapidly, and will continue to do so in the coming years.

The companies who will succeed and thrive are those who will be able to hire and retain the best of this generation. We spoke with Curt Coffman, co-author of First, Break All the Rules and New York Times’ Bestselling author on the subject to garner perspective. As history repeats itself, “Every generation struggles with a new generation,” he explained.
Coffman shares his ideas in the acquisition of Millennials along with best practices in keeping them:
1) Focus on outcomes based work, not how to get there
Define outcomes and expectations rather than the steps necessary to complete a project. Millennials are problem solvers who are very adept at navigating technology and finding solutions. Allow them to do, instead of adhering to a roadmap.

2) Define the “Why” behind your work
To increase your success in hiring, address the mission of your company with Millennials early and often. Explain your purpose and how their work is directly contributing to that purpose.

3) Celebrate, instead of recognize
It’s becoming more important to celebrate as a team versus singling out individuals. The social aspect of celebrating as a team will resonate with Millennials, as they are intensely driven by relationships.

4) Have confidence in them
In the old workplace, confidence in leadership was king. Now, it is much more valuable to have confidence that the individual will perform. Reinforce faith in their ability instead of focusing on their feelings toward leadership.

5) Understand your challenges
When onboarding, remember Millennials are digital natives while Baby Boomers are digital immigrants who don’t like depending on others. Be cognizant of potential friction and recognize the value digital natives possess.

The landscape of talent looks different than years ago. The old school ‘pay your dues’ structure will not work, “Millennials will know within 1 week of starting (their job) if they will remain there.” Coffman said.

Lead the pack by enforcing best practices in attracting and retaining top talent. Do not shy away from generational differences, rather, embrace the impact and value this workforce has to offer.

About Curt Coffman:
New York Times Bestselling Author, Curt Coffman, currently serves as a Senior Partner of The Coffman Organization. With over 22 years at The Gallup Organization, Coffman was the Global Practice Leader for employee and customer engagement consulting. Coffman also serves as Executive Fellow at The Daniels School of Business at the University of Denver. His latest book, Culture Eats Strategy for Lunch can be found at: