“These damn Millennials…” the executive grumbled as he rubbed his forehead.
It was a peculiar thing to say directly in the face of two Millennials; our waiter, who hadn’t finished taking down our order, and me, who he’d just hired as a business coach.
Still, I responded with a nod and a grin. It wasn’t an appeasement or apology; I smiled back because I genuinely agreed with him. My generation of Millennials, born 1982-2000, is a pain in the ass to work with… until you understand us.
Working with Millennials is like driving a manual transmission. To start, there’s a lot of lurching and cursing, but once it “clicks,” everything makes sense and you’re zipping past the competition.
Like my newest client before me, most business leaders are still in the “lurching and cursing” phase. I help them reach the “click” point.
As my newest client relayed common and valid complaints about the Millennial workforce (they quit after 6 months, they want a promotion every full moon), I shifted in excitement, anxious to assuage his anguish. I felt like a kid in class who knew the answer, but the teacher hadn’t called on yet. The more grievances he brought up about my generation, the more quick victories I saw for him.
Once he’d soothed his nerves with the help of Johnnie Walker, we discussed concrete ways he could solve his “Millennial Problem” at the office in the next couple of days. I didn’t ask him to do anything that cost a dime.
A month after our conversation, his operations were running smoother, hiring and retention were up, productivity peaked. He even reported sleeping better at night, no longer losing sleep over which Millennial will quit next?
I wrote this book because I also want you to reach the “click point” with Millennials. If you can optimize your workplace in a way that naturally attracts top talent from the world’s largest working generation, you can go to work happy, and my friends can go to work happy.