Current Progressive Dairy digital edition

Dairy Strong Bloggers: 5 ways to work better with millennials

Joanna Wavrunek for Progressive Dairyman Published on 08 November 2016

Millennials bring a new culture to the work environment, which can be an adjustment for others. Be assured, we millennials are not trying to frighten you. Instead, we are bringing our unique and diverse brain power to the table.

Understanding how we work can set an organization up for countless success stories. Have no fear when working with or managing a millennial co-worker. We are actually very interesting creatures if you only take a little time to try and understand us.



Below are five tips to working with millennials:

1. Give us the freedom to be creative

Figuratively, we don’t thrive when locked up and secluded. Millennials like adventure and to think outside the box. Take chances and give us the opportunity to put a special twist on a project. Be receptive to a fresh idea and what results it could bring to the organization. Adding a millennial to the team will open the door to numerous creative ideas.

2. Be open to several types of communication

Our communication style might come across as antisocial. However, we grew up using multiple ways to interact with others. Face-to-face conversations are still important to us, yet I can still have a meaningful conversation through a text message, email, Facebook messenger or even Snapchat. Communicating through social media might seem unprofessional to some, but it is acceptable to millennials. Feel free to ask what types of communication we prefer. As we both know, communication is essential in the workplace.

3. Don’t judge by appearances

Ever heard of the saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”? Our creative mindset is expressed through fashion, hairstyle and overall appearance. Some of us might have a piercing on our face, tattoo on our arm, purple hair or other fashion trends – this does not mean we are uneducated, inconsiderate or irresponsible. We are simply expressing our personality through appearance.

4. Provide and allow new resources

We grew up with social media, online classes and even robots. We are wired to work and surround ourselves with technology. It just comes naturally. Millennials are motivated to use new technology and take on the challenge of educating themselves. Ask them what technology they are already comfortable using and their motivation to discover different avenues. Take a leap and invest in new resources that will enhance your organization.


5. Continuous feedback is a good thing

We thrive on feedback. Take frequent opportunities to provide us with both positive and negative feedback. Acknowledging our progressive actions will make us more ambitious and we will strive to keep improving. Millennials can be decent employees with constructive criticism. Consistently share advice, tips and past work experiences to get the best results from us. It is a victory for us when the organization is succeeding.

I am confident these tips will develop a comfortable work environment for all generations. It is important to note if the organization feels like it is failing on one of these tips, always use tip number five as the fixer-upper. Schedule a meeting and ask about the other tips to get the most value from a millennial. They will appreciate the time and consideration the organization is taking in them.

Ultimately, take a chance and invest in the unique aspects a millennial could bring to your organization.  end mark

The Dairy Strong Bloggers series is brought to you on behalf of the Dairy Strong Conference, Jan. 18-19 in Madison, Wisconsin. This event focuses on cutting-edge technology, cultural trends and the future of the dairy community. Learn more and register at the Dairy Strong website.

Joanna Wavrunek
  • Joanna Wavrunek

  • Social Media Specialist
  • Dairy Business Association