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Giving Millennials Purpose

With 70% of our employees being millennials, WeGoLook definitely knows a thing or two about what keeps this rising workforce motivated.

"It's young men and women who interview you now, not the other way round [sic]."  --  Marco Pierre White, Chef and Restaurateur

Who are these millennials we hear about all the time? Why does everyone seem to be talking about them? 

And why do they keep using the phrase 'hundo p'? And what does that mean? More on that later...

Well for one, millennials are the up-and-comers who are slowly replacing the Baby Boomers in the workforce. 

Millennials have had a different experience growing up compared to their baby boomer parents. 

Millennials don't know how to use a rotary phone…many have never even seen one! 

A world without cell phones and laptops? Unreal, right?

Who Are Millennials?

As a demographic, millennials are those born between the years of 1982-2000. Also known as Generation Y, the age demographic breaks down into those between the ages of 20 to the mid-30's.

According to a Gallup Poll, there are only about 29% of millennials currently participating in the workforce.

By 2030, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that millennials will make up about 75% of the workforce. Let that sink in for a minute.

Generation millennial is driven by technology and digital communication. Their education and upbringing have taught them self-confidence and the ability to multi-task. 

Keeping up with all the latest and greatest technology is another strong suit.

While they expect instant results, especially in their career, millennials also reach for the stars in achieving a work/life balance

They want to achieve success in their careers, but also place a high importance on socializing and ‘chilling.’

No, not that kind of chilling.

According to a report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a work/life balance is the top priority for as much as 75% of millennials.

Socially aware and active, another 60% of millennials report "giving back" and "making a difference" in the world is another top corporate draw.

So What Do Millennials Really Want?

Gone are the good old days - even for baby boomers - when you begin your career at one company and stay for a lifetime. 

The company man is dead! And TPS reports!

The good old perks such as a cushy retirement program and liquid lunches are unheard of in today's workplace. 

Generation Y wants to feel as if their contributions matter, and they can really make a positive impact or difference in the world. A sense of purpose is an important driving force to a millennial.

Millennials long to take on leadership and skill development roles, even outside of their job requirements. 

It's no wonder that you'll hear many Millennials complain of boredom or feeling under-utilized in their first job or two. 

They expect to dive in with both feet and work on challenging projects. This expectation more than likely comes from the standard of getting immediate answers and results in the digital age.

Thanks, immediate gratification society. We blame Netflix!

The key point is that millennials not only embrace change, they expect it. 

They anticipate systems and business models becoming out-of-date and welcome new technological advances that can solve these issues.

Millennials in the Workplace: Achieving Balance

How can an employer - especially one who has an age-old business model - possibly adapt to keep millennial employees happy? 

This, knowing that over the next 20 years, millennials will take over as the majority in the workforce. 

While 20 years sounds like a long time, the time for businesses to take on a more flexible approach to hiring and keeping highly-skilled millennial employees needs to begin now. 

There needs to be a way to both communicate effectively and provide a positive work environment for employees of all generations. 

Best free advice?  Start working on it now as it is a delicate balance.

Key Takeaways for Managing Millennials

While the old corporate structure of top-down hierarchy structures in place, millennials don't respond well to simply being told what to do and doing it without question. 

Millennials thrive - and businesses do, too - from a corporate culture of connection. 

When employees can connect and work as a team, everything just seems to work out better. 

What connecting and building relationships within a company is really doing is building trust and mutual respect for everyone who must work together. 

The overall vibe is that millennials work well with is "we're all working on the same team." 

They seem to understand that sharing knowledge is far more important than just having knowledge and keeping it trapped in a cubicle.

Millennials are accustomed to connecting with mobile technology instantly anytime and anywhere. Most of their interactions are done through apps and social media. 

It's fast-moving and ever-changing, and that's ‘how they roll.’

Companies faced with the challenge of hiring these high-energy techy workers need to keep up with them.

Instead of resisting change, companies need to listen and learn. 

These are the people who will, in just a few years, dominate the workforce. 

The time for adapting more flexible work policies, new IT practices allowing for more open (yet secure) communication and considering what millennials can offer regarding better, streamlined and more productive technology is now.

Although millennials have taken a beating about being selfish, spoiled and demanding, as it turns out, employees from any generation can be that way. 

We all know one!

Millennials Also Want What You Want

As it turns out, millennials want the same thing any other employee wants. 

Based on a report from IBM's Institute for Business Value just released in 2015, 25% of millennials, 23% of Baby Boomers and 21% of Gen Xers all want to bring positive value to the workplace.

Due to low levels of active engagement and satisfaction in a current position, millennials do tend to switch jobs more often. 

The secret sauce, it seems, may be to make flexibility, a commitment to cutting-edge technology, and a desire to provide opportunities, may make a millennial less likely to leave.

Instead of an annual review, provide immediate feedback on a job well done, or even improvements that could be made the next round. 

A company which offers a valuable purpose, in addition to being run by leaders instead of managers, has a very strong appeal to a millennial.

Millennial Summary

In the market to hire Millennials?  Change your business environment to focus on these key points:

  • Reputation/passion/values of the company
  • Great leaders/mentors/support/management
  • Frequent clear, specific feedback
  • Opportunities for advancement/growth
  • Flexible work environment (creative, innovative, casual, fun)
  • Responsibilities that hold interest while offering the ability to learn and grow in their position.

As more Millennials make their way to your HR Department, changing outdated business mantras will help you be ready for them.

And, following hours of painstaking Google searching, 'hundo p' means "giving a 100%." You're welcome.

So, give your new millennial employees 100%, I mean hundo p, by catering to their needs.