Millennials are a unique generation and they are causing a big stir in the business world. They have already surpassed Generation X and the Baby Boomers to become the biggest generation in the workforce today. It's predicted that millennials will be a huge 50% of the workforce by 2020.
So what's the problem?
Millennial traits are largely unprecedented by previous generations. Their career needs and life goals are totally different and this gets CEO's worried because, frankly, they don't understand them. But, there is some good news. There are 5 millennial traits that can positively impact business bottom lines. The only thing businesses have to do is understand these traits and put them to good use.
Millennials are the first generation of babies to grow up exposed to technology such as the internet, computers, and web applications. It's likely they grew up playing video games instead of board games. Whilst this might make some marked social differences managers/CEO's find hard to understand, it has some serious business advantages. Millennials can do things faster using technology to support them. More often than not, they have found an innovative way to batch emails, manage data or even work remotely. At feedback meetings with millennials, you could probe them about tech and ask them what they think might benefit your work environment. Millennials want to feel involved in the bigger picture of a business and this type of genuine, two-way feedback can really help to satisfy their career needs. In addition to this, millennials are social media experts by birth and every business should be looking to have a digital presence in order to remain competitive. Asking millennial employees to help out on the social media front (if they would like to do so) could give them the responsibility they desire and also help your business to become more tech savvy.
Millennials are big into self-development. They are curious about themselves and the world around them. They want to learn new skills and will invest time in doing so. Companies that have successfully tapped into this aspect of millennial workers have created career-development programs that help millennials grow. PepsiCo, for example, recently launched a program that focused on providing employees with access to "critical experiences" rather than a simple ladder to the top. This type of self-development path is incredibly attractive to millennials and can help to recruit and retain them. Further, they are willing to learn new skills that can support your companies growth, it's a win/win.
3. Socially progressive
Millennials are more socially conscious than any other generation. Businesses offering millennials a compelling social advancement vision/objective will find success in recruiting and retaining this generation. Salesforce is an example of a company that has successfully tapped into millennial energy through a variety of initiatives that encourage employees to give back. Other socially conscious companies, popular with millennials, are Ben & Jerrys, Levis, and Google. Take a look here to see how these companies are marketing their social movement to millennials. Whilst being socially progressive may not seem like it will impact revenue, it actually does. It helps you to build trust with millennial consumers who are your future clients. It also helps you to give back to the world and be a good person.
4. Performance management
Millennials love feedback. A recent study found that over 40 percent of millennial employees wanted to receive weekly feedback from their managers. Millennial workers thrive on feedback even if it's only related to improvement, instead of praise. Regular feedback sessions can be utilized by businesses, to make sure millennials are reaching goals, in the right way, from the offset. Further, it can also ensure millennial employees are satisfied in their roles, to manage and prevent any future retention issues.
Millennials want to be in an open office environment. They thrive in teams and in "work families" where groups work together toward similar goals. It's no surprise that dominating businesses such as Facebook and Google have capitalized on the collaborative work environment to bring out the best in their millennial employees. For you to do the same, create a transparent work environment (not necessarily physically) where there are cross-team meetings and open concept meeting spaces, so employees can be aware of each others work throughout the organization.