How Do You Manage Millennials? Inspire, Adapt, Accept? – Insights from the NextGen Summit

Last week GovLoop was proud to co-host the Next Generation of Government Training Summit with Young Government Leaders. More than 500 young government professionals descended on the JW Marriott for a two day training summit that featured over 100 speakers.

For anyone in attendance there was one thing that was crystal clear, these young people are smart, inspired, energetic and willing to help solve some of government's most complex problems. 

So how do managers harness that enthusiasm into results? Tom Fox is the Vice President for Leadership and Innovation at the Partnership for Public Service. He told Chris Dorobek on the DorobekINSIDER program that young people are very much focused on the path ahead, so you need to help them figure out their future.

Currently there are five different generations working in the federal government. 

"The differences in generations can be a huge strength. Just think about it, the older generations know about loyalty and the process of government, while young people have a leg up on technology and whatnot," said Fox. 

Excitement to Learn

"It was really encouraging that people attending NextGen have that open minded desire for learning because I think it is that apprentice mindset that really makes people successful," said Fox. 

That's not the way we do business

"We have to change the tone of that phrase from a negative to a positive. We need to make it about not being rule bound or rigid, instead we are creative and adaptive,' said Fox. 

Why youngsters matter

"As a leader facing all the constraints they are facing right now you could probably do no better than to engage this group of folks to help you figure out the path forward," said Fox. "You can't dismiss their views. You have to try to understand their perspective and adapt to them."

You can find a recap of all the sessions at NextGen here.


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