Best Practices in Engaging the Millennial Workforce

At the 2015 Smart Manufacturing Summit in Indianapolis, attendees participated in an exchange of ideas and best practices on Engaging the Millennial Workforce. Their ideas and experiences are shared here.
  • The most important action leadership can take initially is to understand the desires and needs of millennials by listening and communicating with the workforce.
  • Leaders need to balance the need for ‘face time’ with measuring ‘work output’, no matter how employees structure their work or work time. (i.e. allowing for flexibility in when and how work is accomplished)
  • Giving flexibility to millennial employees does not mean that people do not want boundaries and expectations put in place. Even millennials want the reliability of policies, practices and processes in the workplace.
  • Leaders need to be careful not to apply a ‘one size fits all’ solution to working with millennials. Manufacturing environments have different requirements than do office environments. Workers in rural areas may have different expectations than those in urban areas.
  • The one important thing leaders can do is to be explicit about asking people to engage. Don’t assume millennials understand what your vision is or what you want them to do to live that vision.
  • Organizations can increase the use of social media and smartphone technology to communicate work-related information. Engage the technology that the new workforce is using.
  • Increase the use of apps that support the work being conducted.
  • Deploy millennial employees to take leadership roles, head important projects, recruit other millennials, giving them more visibility to other millennial employees.
  • Reengineer the workplace to better replicate the world that millennials come from (e.g. flexible time policies, access to public Wi-Fi, open/social work spaces, opportunities to engage/socialize in the workplace).
  • Be brutally honest in employment interviews about the realities of your workplace.
  • Put career planning programs in place to show millennials that there is a path to great growth and responsibilities.
  • Make sure to provide regular feedback aside from formal performance reviews in line with the regular flow of information that millennials are accustom to in the rest of their lives.
  • Include millennials in strategic planning processes to get them engaged early in key business initiatives.
  • Leaders would do well to get some awareness about how they and their company are viewed by millennials (e.g. engagement surveys,
  • Leaders must first model the change they want to see in other leaders and in the broader organization (e.g. start blogging or using social media).
  • Bring millennials into the room more often in key business meetings/events to give them a new frame of reference and get their point of view.

Facilitator: Hank Provost, President, Organizational Strategies | (M) 720-648-2308


  • Get the CEO Briefing

    Sign up today to get weekly access to the latest issues affecting CEOs in every industry
  • upcoming events


    Strategic Planning Workshop

    1:00 - 5:00 pm

    We are in a period of rapid change. Customer needs, technologies, competitors and internal capabilities require companies to review and update their strategies for the new realities. In this workshop, strategy experts Steve Rutan and Denise Harrison will show you a systematic approach to strategic planning to help you refine or redefine your business strategy and approach including:

    • Learn what you need to know to develop an effective strategic plan. Put the right players on the strategic planning team.
    • Develop strategies that leverage your company’s unique position in the marketplace. Lift your management team beyond “business as usual” thought processes and activities.
    • Translate your strategies into action. Achieve your vision for success and generate superior financial results.
    • Identify exactly what you need to do now to position your company for future success.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    New York, NY: ​​​Chief Executive's Corporate Citizenship Awards 2017

    Women in Leadership Seminar and Peer Discussion

    2:00 - 5:00 pm

    Female leaders face the same issues all leaders do, but they often face additional challenges too. In this peer session, we will facilitate a discussion of best practices and how to overcome common barriers to help women leaders be more effective within and outside their organizations. 

    Limited space available.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $495 will be added to your total.

    Golf Outing

    10:30 - 5:00 pm
    General’s Retreat at Hermitage Golf Course
    Sponsored by UBS

    General’s Retreat, built in 1986 with architect Gary Roger Baird, has been voted the “Best Golf Course in Nashville” and is a “must play” when visiting the Nashville, Tennessee area. With the beautiful setting along the Cumberland River, golfers of all capabilities will thoroughly enjoy the golf, scenery and hospitality.

    The golf outing fee includes transportation to and from the hotel, greens/cart fees, use of practice facilities, and boxed lunch. The bus will leave the hotel at 10:30 am for a noon shotgun start and return to the hotel after the cocktail reception following the completion of the round.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $295 will be added to your total.