2014 SXSW Interactive Session Spotlight: Millennials as Supervisors - Strategies for Success

Written by Megan Simpson | February 3, 2014

Jennifer Selke talks about millennials as supervisors at SXSW 2014

Dr. Jennifer H. Selke is an Educational Psychologist from U.C. Berkeley specializing in managing the Millennial workforce, improving employee retention, and fostering job satisfaction. At the 2014 SXSW Interactive Festive, she delivers a solo talk titled, “Millennials as Supervisors - Strategies for Success.” We spoke with her for this installment of the Session Spotlight. Gain more of her insights by following her on Twitter at @jennselke.

SXSW: What is your session about at this year’s SXSW?
Selke: The Millennial generation, those born between 1980-2000, is moving into manager and leadership positions rapidly with a desire to excel. They have a workplace style that is vastly different than their predecessors. Learn how Millennial workers make successful transitions into a leadership or supervisory position by using their talents and strengths. Understand what types of training and mentorship to give this generation of leaders so they are more productive and engaged in their work.

SXSW: Have you spoken on this topic before?
Selke: I have been speaking on this topic at SXSW for the last 4 or 5 years. The sessions have been increasingly popular as the business community has been employing more millennials and discovering they are different than previous generations.

SXSW: What kinds of people will want to attend this session?
Selke: This is a session both for millennials and the people who supervise them.

SXSW: Why should SXSW registrants attend this session?
Selke: Millennials are moving into manager and leadership positions rapidly with a desire to excel. When companies focus on worker engagement they have more productive employees and lower turnover. Millennials have a workplace style that is vastly different than their predecessors. Turn over is expensive and millennials quickly leave jobs. They have not bought into ‘climbing the corporate ladder and paying their dues’ and instead value equality over hierarchy. In this session you will learn the leadership, managerial styles, and values of Millennial workers and what type of support this new generation of leaders need to move from an individual contributor to supervisor.

SXSW: What excites you most about this session?
Selke: I am excited to give millennials a voice and combat the negative discussions in the press about this generation.

SXSW: Tell us something about yourself that is not in your official bio.
Selke: I love to go to Walt Disney World.

*SXSW: How do you stay up to date with news and current developments in your area of expertise?
Selke: I hire and supervise 150 millennials each year so I get first hand knowledge of how they are at work and best practices. I also follow Gallup's research on employee engagement and strengths based management.

SXSW: What is your dream job and why?
Selke: Running a large summer camp is my dream job because I am able to employ so many millennials and help them learn their strengths and how to use them in the work place. I enjoy helping them figure out their transferable skills and how to point their strengths to a career path.

Watch this website for more installments of the 2014 SXSW Interactive Session Spotlight. Click here for the complete list of programming for March in Austin. For tips on interesting sessions to attend, vista the new Recommendation page. Register now to attend “Millennials as Supervisors - Strategies for Success” and other incredible programming at SXSW Interactive 2014.