Team Building Tips for Millennials: Getting Through to Generation Y

Millennials Team Building

Love them or hate them, Generation Y, better known to most as Millennials, are now the largest generation in the workplace, surpassing Generation X and Baby Boomers in 2015.

“Regardless of how you feel about millennials, they are coming of age, entering the workforce and will eventually become our future business leaders and managers,” writes Peter Gasca, Entrepreneur. “Because of this, older generations of managers need to better understand what makes millennials tick.”

So, how do you speak to Millenials? How do you get through to this generation? What tactics work best? Well, with Millennials, it all comes down to values.

What Do Millennials Value in the Workplace?

Millennials Value Transparency

74 percent of Millenials feel “in the dark” about how their managers and peers think they’re performing, according to a study by TriNet. This generation values communication and transparency. However, it is also important to consider how you communicate with Generation Y. “Boomers tend to use one-on-one, telephone or written communication, whereas Generations X and [Millennials] tend to like emails and texts,” according to

Millennials Value Trust and Autonomy

“For millennials, ‘micromanaging’ is one of the biggest factors for pushing millennials to leave an organization,” writes Gasca. Simply put, Generation Y desires trust and autonomy. They want to feel that they are “trusted by their supervisors and given the creative freedom and flexibility to make decisions and find their own path to success.”

Millennials Value Feedback

Because they prefer to work autonomously, Millennials also value feedback after a project is complete. “While millennials may crave freedom, they also want to know how they are performing,” says Gasca. “Being evaluated on — as well as held accountable for — specific ideas and execution is critical for development.” It is important for managers to learn how to provide constructive feedback, both good and bad, to their increasingly-expanding millennial workforce.

Millennials Value Authenticity

“Millennials have a very low tolerance for inauthenticity,” says Gasca. “They value colleagues that treat each other with respect, and they gravitate towards supervisors who are relatable and accessible.” As Gasca says, Millennials would rather work with Dwight Schrute than Michael Scott. They want managers who are open and honest, without trying to “relate” to them on a superficial level.

Millennials Value Socialization

“Millennials have shown us the importance of building strong teams through activities outside of the office,” says Lynn Flinn, CPA, president and managing partner of The Rowland Group of Staffing Companies. “Most of us are too busy during the work day to take time to talk or get to know much about our co-workers, and these functions allow us to socialize and learn more about others on our team.”

Millennials Value Volunteerism

“Nothing brings millennials together more than working to create a better society,” says Joel Goldstein, Lifehack. “Many members of this generation are passionate about social or environmental issues.”

Millennials Value Team Building

“More millennials (79 percent), aged 21 to 30, found “team” or “culture” building activities in their organization significantly helped retain talent, while only 46 percent of baby boomers (aged 51-60) felt the same,” writes Gasca.

Designing Team Building Programs for Millennials

Terrapin Adventures is able to create a customized program (onsite or offsite, indoor or outdoor) to help bridge the generation gap and streamline your workforce. After each exercise, your group will sit down with their facilitator to discuss the lessons behind each activity and how they translate to the business world. This discussion is designed to reinforce these lessons and help ensure that the progress made during your team building outing sticks.

Schedule Your Custom Team Building Program!

Team building can be done year round as Terrapin Adventures has team building suites where we use our portable equipment and creativity to engage with teams on fun and meaningful exercises.

If you have any questions, please call Terrapin Adventure at 301.725.1313, or email us at to learn more.

Works Cited

  1. “9 Statistics Employers Should Know About Millennials | Masterson Staffing.” Masterson Staffing Solutions, 9 Nov. 2017,
  2. Flinn, Lynn . “Leader 2 Leader: If millennials teach us anything, it’s that team-Building events are important.” Tulsa World, 18 Jan. 2018,
  3. Fry, Richard. “Millennials surpass Gen Xers as the largest generation in U.S. labor force.” Pew Research Center, 11 May 2015,
  4. Moore, Jill M., et al. “Multigenerational Challenges: Team-Building for Positive Clinical Workforce Outcomes.” The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, vol. 21, no. 2, May 2016.
  5. Nasser, Kate. “Team Building Across Generations – Proven Approach | #leadership – Kate Nasser.”, 22 Nov. 2015,
  6. “The Key to Managing a Multigenerational Team: Don’t Overthink It.” Robert Half, 15 Nov. 2017,
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