May 13, 2021

How to Manage Millennials: Tips From the CEOs of Adidas, Journeys & Other Footwear Firms

Every day Jim Estepa receives personal telephone calls from the Journeys store and district managers who want to talk about their days at one of the retailer’s roughly 1,200 locations across the country.
Thanks to Journeys’ corporate emphasis on communication with all workers, its store and district managers (90 percent of whom are in the millennial generation), feel empowered to openly discuss their personal career growth or their store’s specific product needs.
“Sometimes they just want to make sure I see how well they’re doing,” said Estepa, president and CEO of the Journeys Group, a division of Nashville, Tenn.-based Genesco Inc.
It might seem like a simple strategy, but this type of feedback is a must-have for millennial workers — people between 17 and 37 who, according to a 2011 PwC survey, in just three years will make up roughly half of the workforce across the globe.
For companies, the stakes have never been higher to accommodate — and grow with — this generation of workers. That is particularly true for brands and retailers, which rely on millennial sales associates to serve as the faces of their retail businesses as they interact with shoppers.
According to Gallup Inc., 73 million millennials were born between 1980

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