CE/CI Summit 2015: Hopefully the Last Presentation on Millennials

This past week I was honored to be a speaker at the 2015 Commercial Integrator Summit which is an annual event  (by invitation only) that was held this year at the Gaylord Hotel in Washington DC. The CI Summit is an opportunity for executives from the industry’s largest and most progressive commercial integration companies to get together to dive into technology and business trends, to share best practices and to move the industry forward. 

The topic I spoke on was "The Millennial Challenge" which is one that has been near and dear to my heart since millennials comprise almost 50% of the ISI sales and support team. So what pearls of wisdom did I share with the over 200+ summit attendees that attended the roundtable presentation? Initially I presented issues that were part of "hopefully the last presentation they'll hear about millennials" which included what doesn't work with managing millennials. Those included old motivation strategies such as cussing, threatening, intimidation, etc. as well as labeling millennials as the "entitlement generation." 

One important point that was made was that, different from Baby Boomers, millennials want to live life on their own terms and don't want their jobs/work to define them After an open discussion and audience/group feedback on their own experience (with what hasn't worked managing millennials), I then presented what has worked managing them which included building an employee farm system, presenting millennials an "opportunity" (and not just a job) as well as flexible work hours and fostering a creative work culture. Additionally I made the point that millennials really weren't that much different from Baby Boomers (like me) which includes traits such as impatience (in moving up in their companies) as well as changing jobs and careers multiple times. 

Finally, it was noted that many of the attributes of millennials has been shaped by social media and exposure to technology at a very early age. There was another group open discussion on what has worked managing millennials and got some great additional feedback (on what was important to their young workers) such as giving back to the community and social responsibility. Really good stuff! 

I then wrapped up my presentation by challenging attendees to go out and actively recruit young millennial talent and work hard to motivate and retain them to not only build their businesses in 2015 but for the future as well. After my presentation , I was gratified to receive a lot of positive feedback from a number of people and really feel that many of the strategies I presented on millennials can and will help my fellow integrators for many years to come

Posted by Jay Myers at 8:26 AM