What I Learned Managing Millennials

A daily routine that includes continuously scrolling through Instagram, sipping kale smoothies, drinking Starbucks coffee, hitting the gym, and hanging out with friends, while still managing to fit in a full day of work is most-likely a Millennial.

Millennial. The four-syllable word that makes thousands of Generation Xers roll their eyes and cringe at the so-called “entitled” and “privileged” group born after the 80’s.

Not all, but most Millennials share the features of a short attention span, an obsession with social media, and a love to socialize. Although this may drive a crowd of Generation Xers to angrily grunt in agreement, from a managerial-perspective, these aren’t negative characteristics. In fact, they are actually valuable elements of a workplace.

In order to be an effective manager, as with all employees, it is important to understand the Millennials in the workplace. Clearly I have a different daily routine as them as I hardly scroll through Instagram and don’t think I could even get through an entire kale smoothie. I started to wonder that if even our daily lives are so different – how different are their expectations and interests in the work that they’re doing?

After discussing with the Millennials that I work with, they’ve explained to me their main priorities and interests. I believe it’s important to integrate these things into the workplace and foster an innovative environment for both them, and myself, as I know that I have a lot to learn from them.

From what I’ve gathered, Millennials’ priorities include: hanging out with their friends, finding a work/life balance, being passionate about the work they’re doing, and using social media to connect with people.

In my experience, these often overlooked interests allow Millennials to be valuable assets in the workplace. Millennials are conditioned to immediacy and will find solutions to get work done quickly and efficiently, with the ability to do several things at once. They are fluent in media, and natives of the digital world, creating innovation in technology. With constant posting and use of social media, Millennials are naturals in communications and marketing. They foster cohesiveness and team-building in the workplace. They thrive on community and naturally build it within a workplace.

Unlike many of us Generation Xers, Millennials aren’t as interested in climbing the ladder or making mass amounts of money as they value these other priorities. Some may not be interested in becoming a leader or gaining status whatsoever. They may be simply trying out different positions for the sake of having new experiences. It’s important to ensure that they are passionate and interested in their work, and that they aren’t doing repetitive, boring tasks. Some of us have spent years doing jobs for the sole purpose of getting a promotion or making money. To those born in this new generation, they focus on pursuing their passions, and focusing on the present.

Most Millennials grew up in a contented environment, where they were given independence from a young age, not under strict authority. This translates to giving millennial workers lots of independence and creative freedom in the workplace. Rather than constantly correcting, or giving strict guidelines, allow them to work on projects where they can implement their own ideas and strategies.

Millennials are conditioned with an ethical value system that Generation Xers weren’t naturally exposed to. Surrounded by ethnic diversity, planet-saving initiatives, socio-economic rallies, and an overall environment that strives for equality, Millennials are aware of the social responsibilities of the companies they work for. They have a balance between their need to excel in their work and their ingrained moral ethics.

Ultimately, we all have a lot to learn from the Millennials in our workplace, and they have unique perspectives that should be heard. Acknowledge and understand the differences you have, and incorporate them into the workplace to create a challenging and thriving environment.


By Wael Hassan and Tessa Barclay

An Enterprise Legal Reference Model

We have developed an enterprise reference model used to conceptualize enterprise elements. The model suggests three planes:

  1. Subject and role-grouping plane: In this plane, the subjects are grouped into roles. Roles reflect subject access rights into the processes and activities of the middle plane.
  2. Process and activity plane: Here, processes are organized in a hierarchy which includes activity graphs.
  3. Object plane or data plane: This is the plane of data object identifiers. Objects enclose data.
Governance Analysis Method - Enterprise Reference Model
Enterprise Reference Model

These three planes are connected by mapping from the subject plane to the process plane. Mapping represents a logical association usually indicating right of access, or operating on an object to complete the process. Our method will focus on the top two layers of the reference model, namely the subject and the process layers.

The layers can be described as follows:

Subject plane

The subject plane includes the user groups and their roles. In enterprise governance requirements, a user or a group of users (a role) can be the subject of legal requirements. For example, the privacy or financial officer is a role defined by laws such as PIPEDA and Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX). Role formations are not mandatory, but they are almost pervasive in enterprise definitions. There are numerous references in legal requirements to role groupings.

Process plane

The process plane defines the process workflow. The process flow has the ability to implement process requirements, which are requirements that specify process compositions, in addition to precedence relations between activities. The process plane acts as the intermediary between the subject and object planes. It assists in mapping processes to the object layer. A mapping defines an explicit ‘reachability’ relation from users to activities and to objects. Semantically, a relation between an activity and an object means that the activity has access to an object. Given that there is a strict mapping between objects and activities, we shall consider access to an activity equivalent to object access.

Object plane

The object plane consists of object references. These references can also refer to composite objects. Our method will focus on the top two layers of the reference model, namely, the subject and the process layers.