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Over the last week, Simon Sinek’s video on Millennials in the workplace has been making the rounds on social media. Why is the argument Sinek makes about Millennials important to employers? According to Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data, “More than one-in-three American workers today are Millennials (adults ages 18 to 34 in 2015).”[1] In order to best incorporate this workforce, it is important that employers specifically engage Millennials on their terms and respond to their needs.

Sinek’s lends some insight into the “Millennial problem” in the workplace. Through his talk, he gives the reasoning behind why Millennials are perceived and respond in certain ways. Sinek spends some time discussing the impact of technology and social media on Millennial development and life. One aspect of technology is that, for Millennials, it will often impede their relationship especially in the workplace. One of Sinek’s suggestions is to encourage your employees to interact by not allowing cell phones in conference rooms. This ban on cell phones allows the “innocuous” interactions before and after the meeting to occur between employees which builds relationships.

Sinek draws a connection between the small interactions between coworkers and the fulfillment Millennials are looking for in the workplace. According to Forbes, the average tenure of Millennials employees is two years. According to Sinek, Millennials do not feel fulfilled in their careers, and these employees are impatient to make an impact. By fostering connections, employers provide Millennials with a foundation and an attachment to the company.

Not only is the interaction between Millennials and their coworkers important, but also critical is the connection Millennials feel to their boss: “If a Millennial employee feels like their bosses are invested in their personal growth they will be more likely to develop a stronger relationship not just with the company but with the people in it.”[2] Millennials seek to feel a connection to the environment in which they spend most of their days.

Making these slight changes for your employees can make your workplace more appealing and fulfilling as well as increase your productivity. Knowing your employees and responding to their needs is essential to tapping into the Millennial workforce and maintaining their productivity.

[1] http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/05/11/millennials-surpass-gen-xers-as-the-largest-generation-in-u-s-labor-force/

[2] http://www.forbes.com/sites/jefffromm/2015/11/06/millennials-in-the-workplace-they-dont-need-trophies-but-they-want-reinforcement/#74bc9b595127

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