We are in the early years of a fundamental demographic shift. The Millennial generation — which is even larger than the massive Baby Boom generation — now makes up a third of the workforce. As younger millennials continue to graduate from college, their powerful mix of values, communication style, and work perspective is driving a work-culture revolution.

As you lead a team that’s increasingly made up of millennials, understanding their motivators is essential to your success. This is a challenge that Aaren Terrett knows very well, since his organization is made up almost entirely of millennials.

Aaren is director of sales operations at O2E Brands, the parent company of 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, Wow 1 Day Painting, You Move Me, and Shack Shine. What’s the secret to his company’s success in producing consistent and sustained motivation in its millennial workforce?

“We apply the principles of frequent feedback, recognition of success, and instant communication,” Aaren says. “Some people call it gamification. We call it leadership of our people. It’s the way the millennial workforce likes to be led.”

Jesse and Aaren discuss the profile of the millennial at work, and how O2E has used gamification principles to shape a positive culture, improve customer service, and increase productivity. Their discussion includes:

  • Contests, prizes, and instant and visually engaging public recognition,
  • New-hire training that includes interactive video game structures, and
  • Gamification principles incorporated into their recruiting and career advancement processes.

Aaren Terrett is the director of sales operations at O2E Brands, headquartered in Vancouver, BC. O2E, which stands for “ordinary to exceptional,” operates four franchise brands with a combined revenue of $150M.

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