5 Things Millennials Can Teach Elders About Running a Business


Every generation has its strengths and weaknesses, and the Millennial generation -- also known as Generation Y -- is no different. In the workplace, Millennials will tend to be the innovators and the information seekers -- though they can also be portrayed as too individualistic and overly concerned about climbing to the next level, even when it’s not warranted.

Still, the Millennial generation has a few things to teach the older generations. Here are five of them.

Social media is king.

If the first thing you thought of when considering the strengths of the Millennial generation was technology-related, you’re already on the right track. Millennials may have a harder time with face-to-face communication than their elders, but they excel at the online variety -- which also happens to be an excellent way to spread the message about your business. The Millennials among you will help you learn not just to create social media profiles, but how to leverage them to your business’ benefit, and to tap into listening tools that help you monitor what others are saying about your business.

It’s not enough just to have a website.

People in the Baby Boomer generation may be more inclined to have a website built one year, and then call it good for the next decade. Millennials, however, will tell you that’s not the way to go. With the advent of mobile technology over the past few years, consumers’ web browsing -- and spending -- habits have changed dramatically, and they’re sure to keep changing. Your business’ website needs to change along with it, to best take advantage of new buying, selling and marketing tools.

Learn to adapt quickly.

Millennials are good at adapting to new technologies -- and at adapting to change in general. Follow their lead. When you’re open to change, your business can be more innovative and be the front-runners in cost-saving strategies, new product launches and more.

The information you seek is out there.

Millennials are also quite resourceful -- probably more resourceful than any other generation when it comes to seeking and finding information. Having grown up with Google and other online search engines ever at their disposal, they know that nearly anything you want to know is a mere click away. In the business environment, that can-do attitude can result in plenty of time saved. As Millennials do, learn to pursue information on your own before scheduling long meetings or taking other co-workers away from their work to help you. That said though, those Millennials can probably learn a thing or two from you about the benefits of collaboration.

Be more transparent in your business dealings.

Because they’ve been raised in a world with a wealth of information at their fingertips, Millennials want transparency in the workplace. They value open and honest leadership, reminds business media personality Carol Roth. Keep the lines of communication open and your business processes transparent, and you’ll have a more satisfied Millennial workforce. 

Every generation has its strengths and weaknesses. By playing to these strengths with your Millennial workers, the entire company can benefit.

Carol Roth: The Strengths of Millennial, Gen X, Gen Y & Boomer Entrepreneurs