Millennials need feedback, not praise.

Says Tony Wagner:

One of my most important research findings is the central importance of play, passion, and purpose in the development of innovators from a very early age. The best parents, teachers, and mentors encouraged these intrinsic motivations throughout the lives of the young innovators whom I interviewed. A central challenge for many companies, then, is to highlight elements of play, passion, and purpose in the work millenials are asked to do.

Millennials also work differently. They want to work more collaboratively. They enjoy learning from and interacting with others. They are also stifled by the requirements of a 9 to 5 routine. “Hold me accountable for solving the problem rather than punching a time clock,” they say. If they are engaged with play, passion, and purpose, they will do whatever it takes and put in whatever time is required to get the job done.

Perhaps the greatest challenge for many companies, though, is breaking down hierarchies and creating far more two-way communication. Tom Kelley is a senior executive at one of the most innovative companies in the world, IDEO. He has also consulted extensively to corporations who want to become more innovative and so has a unique vantage point from which to view the kinds of changes that are required.

See the article in Fast Company.