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Communicating with Millennials

If the target audience for your marketing communications and human resources strategies is involving millennials at any point, which is likely the case, then you better start with a comprehensive understanding of this demographic.

We have put together a roundup of insightful tips to help you communicate effectively with millennials and seize their attention.

1. They appreciate honesty.

2. They want to be heard.

Millennials believe in their right to be heard and to be integrated into any decision making process. When asked for their thoughts on a particular decision they will be highly forthcoming.

3. They’re looking for upward movement.

Progress needs to happen faster for millennials. They are not going to sit back and wait for a dream job to arrive. They are always on the lookout for an upward movement, and they don’t expect it to take a lifetime.

4. They want to speak to the top-level.

Whether it is involving a major decision, a new project, or just a simple desire to know their managers better, millennials want to communicate with top-level leaders whenever they can. That’s the kind of confidence you can expect from them.

5. They appreciate constructive feedback.

Millennials thrive on real-time feedback such as the quick back-and-forth with the manager or CEO. They appreciate constructive criticism and consider it vital for professional development.

Millennials don’t like to go through the motions blindly, so they’ll want to know how they’re doing. If you’re not steering them in the right direction using accurate and timely feedback, they will easily lose interest and become disengaged.

6. They communicate their needs.

Millennials are not afraid to speak up and they strongly believe that their needs matter.

7. They want everyone to succeed.

Millennials want success for everyone involved. They are more connected and they are intuitively more collaborative than their predecessors.

8. They appreciate quick wit.

Millennials are a generation that particularly values humour and quick wit. They use puns, sarcasm, and jokes to underscore their points and to relieve work tension.

9. They don’t step on anybody’s toes.

Millennials are quite progressive and they favor a liberal bias. They have absolutely no time for language or policies that offend or discriminate.

10. They look for the latest.

Millennials believe in a constant state of evolution. They always seek the latest in any technology. For them, newer equals better

11. They are optimistic.

Millennials do not share the negative outlooks embraced by their previous generations. They are generally optimistic and forward-looking.

12. They thrive on passion and excitement.

Millennials will not make place for anything unless it excites them and fuels their passion.

13. They respond best to stories.

Storytelling is the best way to deliver a message to millennials.

14. They prefer 24/7 availability.

Because of their high-energy, hyper-connected work style, millennials often prefer to set their own schedules and so they prefer everything to be available around the clock.

15. Millennials are able to juggle multiple conversations.

16. They’re not into face-to-face communication.

Because of their penchant for multitasking and staying connected, many millennials are not good at face-to-face communication and would prefer to work remotely if possible.

17. They prefer written communication.

Most millennials prefer written communication as opposed to picking up the phone. For them, instant message is a quick and effective way to get in touch with someone. They also value the evidential nature of written communication to help them keep track, recall things, and hold people accountable.

18. They look for social proof.

Millennials look for social proof in everything. Whether it’s their own work or the work of others, they need social validation to make their decision.

19. They’re mobile and highly connected.

20. They respond well to the media.

21. They’re short and to the point.

Millennials like to keep it short to stay effective. They don’t appreciate long discussions or analyses that end up wasting time and money.

22. They have their own lingo.

23. They produce shorter written content.

Fewer millennials do long-form writing. The preference is for delivering the message visually. If it has to be written then it’s usually very short.

24. They produce presentations.

Millennials prefer to deliver their message through storytelling, and therefore producing presentations is a meaningful part of their work. It also requires them to have in-person presentation skills, and those are typically skills that every millennial hopes to improve.

25. They prefer to see data visualized.

26. They interact better with smaller portions of communications.

27. They don’t like the patronizing tone.

Drop any condescending tones from your communications with millennials and replace them with a friendly, conversational voice. Say it like you would say it to a colleague or even a friend.

28. They want to participate.

Millennials interact best with content that invites them to participate.

29. They want to see.

Millennials prefer to be shown rather than told.

30. They look for meaning.

Millennials will always ask essential questions like “What does this mean to me?” or “How can I do things differently?”

31. They want the “How”, not just the “What”.

Millennials appreciate the how-to kind of information that will help them solve problems and make their lives easier.

32. They prefer a text message.

For millennials the preferred method of communication is a text message or an instant message. They like the instantaneous nature of it and it gives them more “though time” to figure out what to say or how to respond.

33. They still like emails.

Millennials still like emails but for less urgent communications. Emails allow them to say more and avoid any formatting limitations.

34. They need a reason.

Millennials need a strong meaningful reason for doing anything other than just “because it’s better” or “because it’s good for you”.

35. They like to be trained in smaller chunks.

Millennials don’t fare well with two days long training workshops. If you are designing training programs for millennials you have to make sure to break them into multiple shorter sessions.

36. They prefer training to be interactive.

For millennials the best training is the one that is interactive, gamified, or including things like hands-on learning or on-camera practice. Videos are the best way to deliver knowledge as opposed to boring lecture-style PowerPoints.

37. They need attention when it comes to workplace skills.

With millennials don’t assume that they come to the workplace equipped with all the skills they need.

38. They love their phones.

Millennials have their phone constantly in their hands just like a permanent attachment. It’s the first thing they reach to when they wake up, and they give it more attention than they do to actual people at the dinner table. It’s their most important asset as it holds their entire lives.

39. They love to engage on social media.

40. They appreciate workplaces that promote their values.

Millennials typically share values such as togetherness, purpose, encouragement, and innovation. They appreciate workplaces that promote such values and trust younger generations to perform and prove themselves when such values are met.

41. They don’t take things too seriously.

Millennials believe that being too serious stifles their creativity and freedom, the two things that they absolutely need to thrive. They want to maintain a positive vibe to stay productive, and they love to see the humour and playfulness in everything.

42. They are not all the same.

Avoid using a single strategy for communicating with millennials. Their individual preferences are so diverse that it’s not possible to implement a one-size-fits-all communication strategy for their entire demographic. Stay dynamic and keep all communication channels open.

43. They like to stay at the centre as customers.

As customers, millennials want personalised, timely, and seamless customer experience across all communication channels.

44. They like to stay in the cloud.

Millennials want to stay connected and mobile. Cloud-based software-as-a-service (Saas) models are the most effective platform and the quickest to implement when servicing millennials and coping up with their changing needs.

45. They prefer one topic at a time.

Millennials are overwhelmed when presented with a lot of information. To stay effective when communicating with millennials ensure that you remain focused on one topic at a time, and have meeting agendas clearly define and focused on specific items.

46. They need context.

Millennials need context before content. They want to know why they are given a specific piece of information or a task. It might feel like handholding, but if you take the time to make these connections you will earn their loyalty and boost their productivity.

47. They multitask well with team members.

Millennials are excellent multitaskers by nature. They grew up in a world where text messaging, emailing, social media and phone conversations are handled simultaneously.