This week, we thought we would take a look at this intriguing generation on which everyone is focusing. THE MILLENNIALS! More and more of them are entering the workfoce, our companies, our homes (because our kiddos are growing up), and our consumer target. I often hear people speak of the challenges of managing millennials so let’s take a look!
Millennials: We are the generation everyone seems to be talking about, positively and negatively. Everyone wants to know what we are doing, what our priorities are, where we are going, and how we are getting there.
Why you need us: We are rapidly entering the workforce and gaining influence. By 2020, it is estimated that we will make up 46% of the workforce. Having grown up with the boom of the internet and social media, we are social media obsessed. This fact means we have the power of influence beyond any number you could reach through traditional methods of advertising or public relations. We can expand your digital reach beyond your imagination…..without spending a dime. We are mobile and global. We are willing (and often eager) to travel and move. We can work from anywhere…..on our smart phones.
How you can attract us to your company: Our priorities are not purely workplace focused. We are civic-minded and have a longing for community. We don’t want to disconnect the minute we leave the office, because we value the connections we forge with our coworkers. Offer us social interactions like group lunches or pizza after work. Tell us about a team of volunteers we can be a part of to serve sandwiches to the homeless as an occasional part of our workday. These opportunities can make the difference when we are choosing where to work. We also like flexibility. Can we work from home? Can we vary our start and end times? Flexibility helps us balance our many interests outside of the office. But don’t worry. When we are in the office, we work hard to succeed, learn, and advance our careers.
How you can manage us: Remember, we’ve grown up in a world that has offered us rewards for everything. When we played soccer as kids, we got treats at half-time, everyone shouted praise at us, (even if we weren’t actually doing well,) and everyone got a trophy at the end. Obviously, the corporate world is not an elementary school soccer field. However, this can be translated to the office by giving us structure, and then offering us frequent feedback (positive and negative). The rewards you offer us don’t have to be significant. A little on-the-spot-flattery goes a long way. We want to know that we are doing things right and it’s noticed and appreciated. Capitalize on our strengths, and help us shore up our weaknesses through INTERACTIVE training that keeps my attention. And don’t underestimate our desire to learn and succeed.
How you can keep us: We are used to fast-paced change, and we are very well connected, so you will need to have a plan to keep us on board. You can retain us if you help us develop as workers AND as people. Our strong desire for connectedness can be easily fulfilled with purposeful social interactions. If you continually communicate the company’s goals, we will buy in, but we need to be reminded. Stay flexible. We want to take pride in being a part of our companies, and when we feel connected and valued, we will be proud to sing the praises of our companies. And then be ready for a few workplace selfies and ussies. And of course, they will be on at least seven social media sites within moments!