What Makes Millennials Tick

Demographics in the workplace are rapidly changing. The older generation of Baby Boomers is retiring. Generation X is moving out of middle management into upper level positions, leaving Millennials to fill their shoes. The youngest members of the workplace have a very different approach to work than any other generation before them.

Millennials have often been called a generation of entitlement. While this is absolutely not true, it is easy to understand how they gained this stereotype. Children born between the early 1980's and the early 2000's have grown up with technology, full schedules of extracurricular activities, and helicopter parents. They have also witnessed violence in schools and workplaces and have, many times, seen their parents being laid-off after many years of loyal service to an employer. Because of all of these experiences, they have a basic belief that there is more to life than work and that work can be performed anytime, anywhere.

This generation wants to make a difference and is not afraid to work hard to achieve their goals. They yearn to work for a company that they believe in. Seventy-eight percent of millennials will choose their employer based on its ability to innovate. The current corporate structure in many companies is not really innovative. The attitude that a work day is eight to nine hours and performed in a cubicle until you work your way up the ladder by putting in unpaid overtime is not innovative. This thought process is the exact opposite of what the newest members of the workforce are seeking.

What do Millennials want from their employer?

  • Diversity in the workplace
  • Flexibility
  • Safety and security in their career - even more so than preceding generations
  • Jobs that nurture their core values
  • Constantly gain new experience

While this may seem like a tall order, if a company can help cultivate this generation into leaders through mentoring, professional development, and re-recruitment, they will be rewarded with a loyal team member. Failure to reassess the corporate organization and culture to include Millennials will result in high turnover and a loss of productivity. It will also alienate the next generation of minds who can help change the face of work as we know it.

Next time we share the best way to communicate with the more junior members of the team.

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