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Managing Millennials: Tips For Today?s Supervisors

About the Author

Fred Botterbusch, MANTEC

Eric Joseph Esoda

Executive Director/CEO

  • 15+ years of manufacturing consulting and experience throughout New York and Pennsylvania
  • Manufacturing Champion of the Year Award nominee from U.S. Department of Commerce Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership
  • Vice President of the Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center Network
  • Adjunct faculty member of Penn State University, Scranton and Wilkes-Barre campuses
  • Binghamton University School of Management

Managing Millennials: Tips For Today's Supervisors

by Eric Joseph Esoda

Much has been written about how to manage, motivate and reward the next generation of workers -- those between the ages of 18 and 35. These workers, commonly referred to as "Millennials," will constitute over 35% of the workforce by the end of 2013 and over 50% of all workers by the end of the decade. According to current research and emerging best practices, managers should keep a few important points in mind when creating Millennial recognition programs.

Millennials expect immediate recognition. Emerging from an era of Facebook, Twitter, blogs, text messages and other forms of sending and receiving immediate "status" updates, Millennials appreciate immediate recognition for their accomplishments. Managers should be vigilant in their efforts to identify positive Millennial behavior and consistent in their recognition practices.

Millennials value "post-ready" recognition. The new generation of workers appreciates post-ready -- linkable, "Like"-able, pushable -- recognition. Posting accolades to the company website, Facebook profile or LinkedIn group offers Millennials an easy way to share their professional updates with their friends and family.

Millennials want customized rewards. Millennials want rewards customized to their lifestyles, hobbies, passions and personalities. Employers need to get to know their team members and think outside the box when buying recognition items.

It's not all about them. Some studies suggest that Millennials value forms of recognition that acknowledge their achievements but bestow benefits onto others. Donations to charities, community projects and benevolent organizations, all done in the name of a high-performing employee, may generate more good will, loyalty and performance improvement than an equally costly item delivered directly to them.

Several software-based systems provide the structure and customization for companies of all sizes to create effective Millennial recognition programs. With the help of these tools, today's managers can enhance Millennial employee motivation, productivity and loyalty by aligning their company's recognition strategies with the needs, preferences and values of today's new professionals.

Northeastern Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center (NEPIRC) is a private not-for-profit organization that provides consultative services designed to increase the profitability and long-term competitiveness of manufacturers throughout northeastern Pennsylvania. NEPIRC's services include Innovation Management, Business Planning, Leadership Development, Process Excellence & Lean Manufacturing, Quality Management Systems and similar. For more information, please contact Executive Director/CEO Eric Joseph Esoda at 570-819-8966 ext. 116 or

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