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4 Ways to Engage the Next Generation of Leaders

Sometimes this “next generation” of leaders can seem like visitors from another planet to us old folks (those of us over the age of 39 or so). They are the first truly digital generation, and real-life issues are more often than not managed with a text, chat, snap, gram, or click on the app of the week. It can be difficult to understand the best ways to connect with younger employees, but it is crucial that we (that means you, too) learn how.

Companies Need To Adjust For The Next Generation of Leaders

Millennials are the largest generational demographic in the workforce today, and employers need to get used to it. In fact, it is their technical savvy and that seeming split-second attention span that will take our companies and the world’s cultures into the next millennium. But here’s the thing: it’s not just video games, office scooters, and free snacks that get the attention and garner the intention of this workforce. Those things may be fun and cool and something to tweet about, but this generation really does care about what they’re doing. So much so that 43% of millennials plan to leave their current jobs within two years because their current companies or employers do not have a substantial plan for them moving forward.

Some statisticians claim that Millennials are the least engaged generation in the workforce, but we’re not so sure about that. Maybe they’re just bored. It’s possible that many millennials actually don’t want to switch jobs, but their companies aren’t giving them compelling reasons to stay. When millennials see what appears to be a better opportunity, they have every incentive to take it. While millennials can come across as wanting more and more, the reality is that they just want a job that feels worthwhile — and they will keep looking until they find it.

44 percent of Millennials say they would be more likely to be engaged if their manager held regular meetings with them… but only 21 percent say that actually happens. 

That’s not good, boss. 

You have the smartest, most fearless, most technologically-savvy, and most interested group of employees the world has ever known, and you’re going to lose them, soon, if you don’t engage. 

Keys To Working With The Next Generation of Leaders

So, how do you do that?

Here are 4 crucial things to think about when working with the next generation of leaders:


Money is great, but for Millennials experiential purchases (money spent on doing) tend to provide more enduring happiness than material purchases (money spent on having). What if we could shift Millennials’ relationship with work where the anticipation of going to work is an experience, not an exchange of time for money?


Engagement is one of the biggest components that Millennials insist on at work. They want to be involved; they want to be a part of something; they want to know they are working toward something bigger than themselves… something that will last beyond a paycheck. 


Millennials crave training, mentoring, regular feedback, and being part of the big picture. Managers, therefore, need to dialogue regularly with Millennials rather than follow traditional structures like a yearly performance review. Millennials want feedback in real-time and much more often. Allow reviews to be more like a conversation than a list of to-dos and to don’ts… and focus on the positive whenever possible. These guys love the encouragement!


Millennials are a tough group to please because not only do they want engagement but also flexibility. Work/life balance is a significant hot button for this generation. According to a study by Deloitte, when choosing a job, the number one priority for Millennials is a good work/life balance. Companies that offer flexible schedules have a better chance of procuring millennial talent.

Well, guess what? Wildsparq can help with ALL OF THE ABOVE, and we would love to show you how. Want to learn more, or experience a live demo? Send a note to Josh Etress at or schedule an introductory call.