Managing Millenials

By Nicki Davis

There have been books written, studies commissioned, countless hours of podcasts produced and keynote speeches, including that by Jason Dorsey at the CMAA World Conference in 2016 (which I was fortunate enough to attend) all on one topic – how to work with, manage and essentially, control Millennials, the new workforce generation.

So what is a Millennial?
Millennials (aka Generation Y or Gen Y) are the demographic group following Generation X and preceding Generation Z. There are no precise dates for when this cohort starts or ends as I discovered when writing this article but typically begins with those born early 1980s and ends with those born around the mid 1990s, so by that we are saying (24-39 years old).

Why do they get so much press?
The millennial generation is the largest age group to emerge since the baby boom generation, and the fastest growing generation in the workplace. Whilst they may get a lot of bad press, they are in fact intelligent, hardworking people and on track to be the most educated of any generation to date. The only real difference it seems is how Millennials ask for and expect things to be delivered.

Key Benefits of Employing Millennials

  •  they bring fresh ideas and perspectives which appeal to their age group – great if you are wanting to attract younger members to your Club
  • they are tech savvy, growing up using computers, the internet and social media & will pick up and implement technology faster than many senior employees (me included!) – useful when communicating with members, gathering analysis and for marketing
  • they bring valuable new skills and a willingness to challenge the status quo – good for Club development and potential future Club Managers
  • they have the ability to be able to connect with people at different levels – this diversity and equality is vital for member engagement, sales growth, employee performance & innovation
  •  they can be cheaper to employ than someone more experienced. Investing in internships and apprenticeships can lead to a rewarding relationship for both them and the Club

Tips for managing millennials

Training is key because they are essentially a blank slate. They don’t have old, bad habits like more experienced employees might. Most don’t have massive egos built on previous experiences. And, most young employees are good at coping with change.

Learning and Development…. They have a hunger to progress and a capacity to learn quickly so provide opportunities for them to continually learn their trade and benchmark themselves against. The CMAE MDP pathway is a perfect tool for this.

Personal and professional life…. Offer them a balance between core working hours and benefits your Club may be able to offer them – experiences (cultural, sporting, social), perhaps a regular tennis coaching session, gym class or even West Ham FC tickets (!).

Money isn’t everything…. Millennials will expect to be fairly rewarded in terms of salary, but they also crave recognition for their work and their achievements. So recognise them – put their name forward for a ‘Be Valued award’, buy them a coffee to take the time to personally say well done and thank them.

Mentoring.… Be a mentor not a boss; millennials are inquisitive so include them in the decision making and you will find they are responsive, keen to learn and take on extra responsibilities.

Honesty… honesty & openness is everything to them. Be prepared for their frankness as they will often ask the questions that others are afraid to and will respect you for your openness.

Create a strong company culture. ... we know that Millennials like to feel part of a group and like to be valued as a group so create a strong company culture with values, team building exercises, inter-departmental opportunities. We have just introduced at Roehampton Club, a group of Aspiring Managers, called the Inspiration Group, a group of staff we want to explore innovative and new ideas and ways of working as a group – feeding ideas into the management team.

Here’s what a few Millennials working at Roehampton Club have to say:

“We – the Millennials – are shaping the future of work. Our generation is constantly proving that we don’t identify with the stereotypes they’ve put on us; so it’s great when you find a company that believes and values you for your own qualities and what you can bring to the company. At Roehampton Club, I constantly develop my skills while being myself and share my ideas to build a better ‘team’.”
Patricia Gelabert (1992)
Marketing and Membership Assistant, Roehampton Club

“Having been working in London for over 10 years, working in very competitive environment in the City, I came to appreciate the great balance of work life and personal life I can have working at Roehampton Club.
Beside from the benefit of a well-balanced work/private life another aspect that I love about working at Roehampton Club is the training program we are offered. Aside from the mandatory training like first aid, fire training, I do have the great opportunity to choose the training I want to do in order to improve my skills.
My experience at Roehampton Club is that I am valued as an individual as well as part of a team.”

Francesca Marini (1984)
Events and Weddings Co-ordinator, Roehampton Club

“I started at Roehampton Club on a mid-University placement as an Intern in 2014 and since then I developed professional and personally due to the encouragement and support of my manager and employer. They have also provided a platform for me to learn through training and I have now started my first step to becoming a future CCM by completing the MDP Level 1. I believe we – Millennials – often require social and personal attachment to our careers, prioritising the enjoyment of our job over a ‘simpler’ desire for more money or progression and working somewhere that has culture of ‘one team’ is vital to my sense of belonging within the Club.”
Ryan Evans (1994)
Golf & Games Assistant, Roehampton Club

 Nicki has spent most of her working life in the sports industry, project
managing large scale sports events in Europe.  She joined Roehampton Club
in 2009 and oversees all the Club’s events as well as the Food & Beverage
Operation. An active member of CMAE she has attended CMAA & BMI
International Conferences and is on the MDP pathway.