Millennials – What makes them tick?

Millennials – What makes them tick?

Peter Mallett, Staff Writer ~

As civilian and military employers struggle to recruit and retain the next generation in the workforce, the research of David Coletto may help solve the problem.

The MARPAC Health and Wellness Strategy is bringing Coletto to CFB Esquimalt on March 9 to give a presentation entitled Leadership and Millennials: Working Effectively with Generational Change. 

He will deliver a two-and-a-half hour presentation in the Rainbow Room of the Chiefs’ and Petty Officers’ Mess beginning at 9 a.m. The 200 pre-registered spots for the presentation are filling up quickly.

Coletto, 35, is a highly successful millennial who co-founded the Ottawa-based market and public opinion research firm Ababcus Data, and heads its Canadian Millennial Research Practice.

His presentation is geared to managers, supervisors, commanding officers and people who deliver on-the-job training, so they can better understand what makes millennials tick and how to better accommodate their needs. 

Maryse Neilson, CFB Esquimalt’s Health Promotion Manager, says Coletto is renowned for his presentation skills.

“He is not only well informed and highly successful in his field, but also an incredible entertainer. He presents his research in a good-natured way that allows you to understand the data,” she says.

The Federal Government has been tracking the increasing employee shortfall at the Department of National Defence as people reach the mandatory retirement age of 55, and civilian employees reach the end of their careers.

After a review by the Auditor General of Canada, a House of Commons report in June 2017 declared that the DND “must improve its methods of recruitment and retention of personnel.”

As a result, a key part of Canada’s new defence policy document Strong, Secure, Engaged was a commitment to grow the military by 3,500 members and the Reserve Force by 15,000.

This includes the implementation of a comprehensive CAF Retention Strategy which Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan says is an effort to “keep talented people in uniform with a welcoming and healthy work environment.”

Neilson says that’s where civilian managers and military command and training teams should take note of Coletto’s presentation, as he not only understands what the data means but also how to develop a plan of action.

“As employers and managers we can complain all we want about the problem, but we need to be better equipped to recruit people, and develop and create systems and structures that recruit, maintain and understand millennials,” says Neilson. “Baby Boomers and Generation Xs want stability; Millennials want change and adaptability.”

Anyone interested in attending David Colleto’s presentation can register with Andrea Lam at

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