Millennials, as disruptors, like to do things differently. So, it’s no surprise that they steer away from traditional networking events after work hours. They perceive older generations as less lively and working for paycheck over purpose. Millennials reading this, are probably cringing at this phrase “traditional networking events”.
Undoubted Millennials don’t like traditional networking because they’d rather break away from the norm. Furthermore, when given a choice, millennials value deep relationships over shallow professional connections.
The good news is, though millennials haven’t historically been a lenient generation, as they mature, millennials are accepting. The fact that spending time with colleagues outside of work builds a person’s positive reputation. Because they’re adapters, they understand traditional networking with senior-level management will always exist.
But because they’re also reformers who oppose established expectations, millennials are renewing peer networking:
They’re scheduling networking playdates.
Older millennials are parents. Because millennials multitask far more than previous generations, those with children leverage a common bond, scheduling networking playdates with colleagues who have children of a similar age. This also allows millennial parents to relate on a personal level, simultaneously strengthening their professional relationship.
They’re skipping company happy hours in favor of networking dinner parties.
Millennials drink more wine than previous generations. Yet in a recent survey by wine app Vivino nearly half of them would rather drink wine at home than at social gatherings or restaurants. Millennials would rather attend or host a small dinner party, connecting with colleagues in the comfort of their own home.
They’re bonding through high-energy activities.
Lastly, if organizations want positive team engagement outside of the office, consider millennial interest in deviating from traditional networking events. Involve millennial team members when coordinating offsite team meetings or causal office events. This not only increases event participation rates; it also makes millennials feel their opinion is important.