Millennials in Your Workplace – The New Workforce
I have been speaking on Millennials and the generations in the workplace for nearly 10 years now. And I can remember back in 2008 when there were just a handful of Millennials in the audience. Today, my audiences are filled with people 35 and under and the number of Millennials in the workplace continues to increase. This New Workforce is close to half of the US workforce and they are shaking things up and changing the world of work. It is important that we understand this dynamic group and move forward. We are discovering that Millennials are seeking a multi-dimensional lifestyle that satisfies both their work and personal lives. They are definitely impatient and want to proceed along their career paths more rapidly than Boomers and even Gen Xers.
Meet Millennials where they are!
Today you have to meet Millennials where they are if you want to succeed. Yes, it does take more energy, but if you invest the extra time, you’re more likely to keep them in your organization and grow their talent. We must take a look at the workplace through their perspective in order to understand what they are about. The bottom line is that forcing them to conform to your way will only push them away.
What motivates Millennials?
To understand what motivates Millennials and how to work with and manage them, you need to consider what they value:
- Challenge – they want to work on demanding projects with an engaged team that cares about the outcome, embraces complexity, and seeks disruptions.
- Learning – they want to gain knowledge from a variety of tasks, so they can grow their careers quickly.
- Career goals – they want to be able to see their future and their career path in your organization.
- Feedback – Millennials want feedback on how they are doing, and they want to hear it often.
- Techno 24/7 – they want the ability to leverage technology when working—anytime/anyplace.
- Tap into Social Platforms – Millennials are social beings; use social platforms to grow your organization’s employee brand.
- Results Oriented Flexibility – they want to be evaluated on their finished work—not on how, when, or where the work is done.
- Transparency – Millennials want to know how their performance will be measured. They like structures and systems, and they want to understand by what metrics they will be judged.
- Access – they want open and constant communication from their boss (and their boss’ boss, and so on –
- Social Interaction – Millennials want to have friends at work, and they want the workplace to be a pleasant and social place. They prefer to work on teams rather than as individuals. So, If you are excited because you have one Millennial on your team, wake up! They may not be there next month.
This is the iGeneration
In addition to iPhones, iPads, and iTunes, Millennials could be called the iGeneration as they revere technology and the spotlight. Millennials’ parents told them they were special, and they believed it! It’s important for this generation to stand out and celebrate their uniqueness.
Millennials tend not to look at their first job as their final career. Many younger employees consider their work “something to do between weekends” and aren’t thinking about climbing the corporate ladder. The more focused Millennials have a self-centered work ethic and are in search of a career path. If you are working with them, show them where they fit into your organization, take the time to show them a career path and open their eyes to the opportunities in front of them and in other departments.
The biggest challenge for any organization is to be open and willing to make a shift. It must bend to accommodate the Millennial mindset. Of course, the need for young talent is enormous. Competition is fierce to recruit and retain the best talent. Organizations unable or unwilling to make the shift will pay dearly for their inflexibility. Millennials have the ability to transform the disruption of the workplace into profit for your company. First, however, your managers and marketers must be willing to adapt and change to fit their needs.
Are you up for the challenge?