The Millennial Issue

Welcome to the first themed issue of SFBW, which focuses on the millennial generation.

What is a millennial? The age bracket is somewhat loosely defined. One definition is they came to work in the new millennium, which means they were likely born after 1980.

Millennials are already the largest group in the workforce, according to Pew Research, and are expected to be more than half the workforce by 2020. Moreover, they are a demographic segment that is highly coveted by marketers.

If your business doesn’t embrace millennials, it will be difficult to succeed in the future.

This issue has features on successful millennials, starting with Yamal Yidios, who is on our cover. Yidios has been focused and driven to succeed since an early age. Like many millennials, he has a sense of purpose about his work and has a mission that transcends just making money.

We also have insight from a duo of millennial real estate agents and a trio of lawyers who branched out on their own.

Many of our columnists also have weighed in about millennials, ranging from why they should be a part of your workforce to intergenerational wealth dynamics. 

Understanding millennials seems to be a challenge for many of my baby boomer peers. Author Nigel Dessau, who wrote “Become a 21st Century Executive,” says boomers should know that millennials don’t focus on the lower level of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – largely because their boomer parents have fulfilled them.

“The main concerns of these millennials are: love/belonging, esteem and self-actualization. They are driven by passion and purpose,” Dessau says. Here are his top five tips to boomers about millennials:

1. Don’t confuse what motivates you with what will motivate them. Millennials are more driven by purpose, so find out what drives them.

2. Don’t assume that if you can’t see them, they are not working. Millennials use technology to do work and often have different hours than you. Send them clear objectives and judge them based on results.

3. Allow for their “me time.” Seven out of 10 millennials want to make sure they have personal time while at work. Just because they’re on Facebook doesn’t mean they’re not working. If they’re getting the job done, that’s all that matters.

4. Make them a part of your world. They want to understand “why?” before they will commit to doing. Take the time to mentor and explain. If possible, connect your strategy and approach to their purpose. Remember, every interaction is a teaching moment – take it.

5. Provide feedback when they need it, not when you want to give it. Millennials are used to continuous feedback, which could mean daily. When talking, commend what they do well and what you want to see more of. When they miss the mark, explain what they could have done better. 

I hope you enjoy this special issue. Please feel free to email your thoughts to kgale@sfbwmag.com or call 954.377.9566.

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