Managing Millennials in Project Management, Change and Transformation Consulting Roles

Insights | 06 February 2018

In a previous article we acknowledged that 2018 will see millennial project managers make their debut in our industry, both as consultants and clients. Indeed, we already employ 80 millennials – with great success.

Countless articles laud and lambast millennials in equal measure, so what do you need to take into account when managing the millennial generation?

For a start, managing millennials is not even about managing an age cohort. It’s about understanding how the socio-economic environment they grew up in has shaped how they think and what motivates them – just like any Baby Boomer or Gen-Xer, they’re individuals, with individual skillsets.

The millennials in our business are the most engaged in our workforce according to our last employee engagement survey (grand mean of 4.1 out of 5).

Here are six ways we’ve achieved this:

Maximise, don’t manage

This is a highly engaged, savvy, ambitious generation and they don’t see obstacles that other generations might see.

They’ve grown up with role models – teen music stars, tech entrepreneurs – who have shown them that they don’t need to follow traditional paths, do what everyone else does, or do something for 30 years, to be successful.

This is a tremendous opportunity for your organisation, so look at what you need to do to maximise this strength in millennials and ensure your culture supports and benefits from that.

Engage, don’t manage

According to a recent Deloitte survey, only 1 out of 5 millennials in organisational cultures without perceived purpose are satisfied at work.

Reward for them is not just about remuneration – it’s about the greater social good, recognition, a clear path for professional development in the company, learning opportunities and flexible working practices, as well as financial or role gains. They will struggle with poor culture and are not afraid to leave a job and seek another one if not engaged in the project or organisation. Get them on board or lose them.

Collaborate, don’t manage

Millennials don’t recognise hierarchy models as efficient, they need to be information rich and expect strategy and business priorities to be shared with them, they want to be more involved in the business.

This imbues them with shared responsibility to create a win-win for higher growth, better innovation, commitment and connection with each other and customers.

Equalise, don’t manage

Diversity, equality, flexibility, and opportunities that are available to everyone regardless of what traditional roles and expectations may have been in the past are what millennials expect.Tweet: Diversity, equality, flexibility, and opportunities that are available to everyone regardless of what traditional roles and expectations may have been in the past are what millennials expect. [@PMPartners] Technology has made this possible, they don’t see labels, nor will they tolerate a lack of equality or fairness, and they will use technology to speak up and amplify their cause.

Move, don’t manage

Move fast, or move out the way. No more ‘command and control’ model of old thinking, they favour a more transparent and holacratic one. They also expect work flexibility through the better use of technology.

This generation has a sharp, fast paced and agile mindset. We need more of this mindset shift in business and government. Other generations need to adapt, help by offering their experience or get out of the way to help the organisation gain a competitive edge.

Mentor, don’t manage

We retain the mantra that ‘everyone does worthwhile work’ so we understand the great long-term value millennials, along with everyone else, can provide to the business. They can help validate purpose from the ground up, encourage transparent communications and nurture innovation in PM-Partners.

In short, all of us at PM-Partners are working towards the same goal which is the continued success of our business well beyond the next few years. So, without strong engagement of our millennials, and all of our valued team, we cannot achieve our objectives.

About The Author

Ken Sheargold, Chief Executive Officer at PM-Partners group

Ken Sheargold, CEO of PM-Partners group, joined the organisation as a Transformation Consultant in February 2016. Prior to joining PM-Partners he held executive appointments in the NSW Government and Telstra Corporation. His most recent appointment in Government was the Executive Director, Premiers Implementation Unit directly responsible for supporting the Premier in the delivery of his key priorities across NSW.

Ken has considerable senior strategic and management expertise having held Executive Director roles at Telstra (Corporate Strategy and Customer Service), NSW Premier and Cabinet, Public Works and Service First. He also spent sixteen years in the Australian Defence Force.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Enquire Now


1300 70 13 14


Stay Informed

Subscribe to our newsletter and receive quarterly industry news updates and stay informed of forthcoming PM-Partners group events.