3 Ways to Motivate Millennials

Motivating Millennials

The millennial generation (those of us born between 1980 and 2000) has been referred to as an apathetic generation by many of our elders. The fact is, however, when motivated to do something and after seeing the real need to participate in a cause, we’re actually quite the opposite. In fact, millennials are people that usually want to participate in something big, they want a part in something bigger than themselves.

With that being said, here are 3 ways to motivate a millennial (or anyone really)…

1. Speak to their potential.

When leading a millennial, speak to their potential, not their mess-ups. It’s really easy to criticize anyone (especially and young person) for what they’ve done wrong, but the real way to prevent it in the future is to correct them and speak to their potential. Tell them why it’s not acceptable, tell them that they’re better than that. If you want a millennial to feel motivated, speak to what’s ahead of them, of how they are needed, and of what special things they have to offer.

2. Speak your vision.

Speak a compelling vision. To anyone, if you want to motivate them, speak vision, show them what they’re working towards. If I told you that I wanted you to swing a hammer all day, carry shingles up a roof, and sweat in the hot sun for 2 months, you’d probably say ‘no thanks.’ If I told you that I wanted you to have an integral part in building a home for a family that is in desperate need of feeling some love and needs Jesus, that would change your perspective on doing it. It’s the same way with the vision you’ve been given. Whether you’re leading a millennial, an older person, a child, a classroom, speak vision.

3. Speak your life (mentor them).

There’s a deep longing for connection among the millennial generation. We want community and aren’t’ afraid of being helped along life. Most of us know that we have a lot of learning ahead of us and we desire to have someone teach us about it… in relationship. Motivate that millennial you’re leading by speaking life, by doing life… genuine life with them.

How else can we motivate people? Anyone?

[For more about the millennial generation, check out millennialleader.com and read some of my previous posts here, here, and here.]

11 Comments

  1. According to the Rainers’ book, the church’s challenge is not overcoming an adversarial attitude from the Ms. The true challenge is overcoming apathy. I think the ways you have listed are right on the money. I gleaned that if they have no challenge and no purpose and no relationship, they are not going to offer much of anything. Good thoughts Jonathan.

    Reply
    1. If we are leaders in the generations ahead of them we have recognize they have received thousands of more messages about who they are then our generation did. The amount of information millennials are processing on a daily basis is significant. As Andy Stanley say’s, “Vision leaks,” for millennials vision isn’t leaking, it’s getting pushed out. As leaders we have to continue to do these things, not just once, but many times because we are competing against all the other messages they are receiving about themselves.

      Thanks for the great reminder Jonathan.

      Reply
  2. Jared

    This seems to have shaped this cohort into a group that identifies more with being socially responsible than previous generations did..

    Reply
  3. I’m a Millennial and the company I work for deals a lot with the tension created in the workplace by the Millennial generation. There is a program we have developed called “Managing Millennials” and I think this article touches on some of the key issues that are brought up in the training. Yes Millennials have weaknesses but like any generation they also have strengths. The training that we have focuses on turning those weaknesses into strengths so Millennials can work to their full potential. I appreciate the opinions shared in this article. I believe there are things for both sides to work on with this issue but I don’t think there needs to be so much energy spent on the negativity of Millennials in the workplace when we can spend it focusing on a solution.

    Reply
  4. Karen

    The millennial generation (those of us born between 1980 and 2000) has been referred to as an apathetic generation by many of our elders. The fact is, however, when motivated to do something and after seeing the real need to participate in a cause, we’re actually quite the opposite. In fact, millennials are people that usually want to participate in something big, they want a part in something bigger than themselves.

    Reply

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