They're growing more powerful every day, but what's the best way to get and keep them engaged and involved?
As the workforce changes and more Millennials grow in numbers and influence, it's worth noting their preferences and attitudes, as they can differ significantly from Boomers. By 2020, nearly half (46 percent) of U.S. workers will be Millennials.
A Forbes report on Millennials found some basic characteristics of this generation that perhaps verge on stereotype: They love technology, they're very social, they love to collaborate, they seek adventure and they're passionate about values.
Here are some ways to engage this generation.
Include them. They generally like to speak out and don't want to feel intimidated by older employees. Find ways to take advantage of their insights and create opportunities for interaction.
Hear them. A good way for Millennials to be heard is by breaking down into smaller groups. Small groups create more chances for all points of views to be shared and heard. A full 88 percent of Millennials prefer collaboration over competition.
Challenge them. Millennials tend to see themselves as ready for increased responsibilities at much earlier stages in their careers than Boomers did. You might think it's too early to challenge them, but it's likely they don't.
Think sustainable. Be conscious of eco-friendly and sustainable choices in everything from the venue to the menu. Millennials are extremely conscious of the impact of their choices. You may even want to establish an environmental statement or policy for the meeting, and get buy-in on it as a way to maximize Millennials' interest.
Some destinations will be totally on board. "In conjunction with our destination's popularity in eco-tourism and pristine white sand beaches, we have quite a selection of eco-friendly venues that can accommodate an assortment of meeting sizes," says Jill Vance, director of sales for The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel. The destination specializes in earth-friendly options and even has suggestions on its website: "9 Green Meeting Tips."
Consider mentoring. Despite their affinity for electronics, Millennials want to learn from people, not just from computers. So think about mentoring opportunities during your event.
Communication is key. Communication is important for any business or personal relationship, but with Millennials, it's key. And the type of communication of course - digital and immediate - is most effective.
For information on the meetings options available from The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel, click here.
Properties to contact for your next meeting:
> Sundial Resort & Spa
> Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa
> South Seas Island Resort
> Holiday Inn Express & Suites-Forum