Millenials. What are they? People born between 1984 and 2004, comprising a majority in the U.S. workforce, some 53.5 million strong, and with a label that’s probably not in your spell-check yet.
What’s so special about this crop of rising stars? And how will the workplace transform to meet the new demands of this cohort?
Here are 5 traits to keep in mind.
1) Millennials want Results & Recognition. They’re used to feedback and back-pats. Often. After all, it wasn’t so long ago that they were getting report cards. When they work out, they track their effort and they get results. When they ping for an Uber, it appears. And when they go to work, they want to have their interests and accomplishments recognized. In fact, that’s a top reason for remaining at their current company.
They want their efforts to matter—they want to have “a real, personal impact at work,” as Lori Goler, Facebook’s head of people, puts it.
But only 28% say they feel their current organization is making full use of their skills.
2) Millennials are Global, and accustomed to Diversity. They’re the most racially diverse generation in U.S. history. Chances are they’ve visited several countries, with friends on different continents. 71% want and expect an overseas assignment at some point during their career.
3) Millennials are Social, Mobile, Tech-savvy, Educated—and most admit they’re self-absorbed. Put that all together and you have an intriguing new connector: they’re texting friends from all over, digesting input 24/7 like a digital baleen whale. They’re also in touch with parents and sibs. If they like something, news will get around fast. Impress this cohort and word will circulate quickly. Beware: the adverse is also true. A condemnation of your brand can make a sizeable dent in your bottom line.
Add up 1) 2) and 3), and you get 4) and 5)
4) Millennials heart Purpose. 71% want in on their company’s volunteer, sustainability, and CSR initiatives. Not only locally, but (did we say global?) around the world. 84% of Millennials made a charitable donation last year. Workers of the past identified colleagues and co-workers; these recent grads call them “family.” 75% of Millennials are interested in the sustainability efforts of their employer and coworkers. And, they want to join in! 92% of Millennials enjoyed participating on a company-wide service day during the past year. They don’t like cruelty, obduracy, opaqueness, injustice, or problems that don’t get solved. They disrupt for good.
5) Millennials want to Love their Job. With so many Millennials unaware of life without Facebook, they’re acutely aware of their own public persona. That identity includes the company they work for and the brands they buy. Employers should exude positive impact: something substantive, nothing artificial, and beyond mere profits. “The big takeaway: a focus on purpose and people is, for many millennials, just as important as a company’s ability to generate profit,” according to Deloitte.
At WeSpire we believe a strong and innovative collaboration comes from an exciting mix of generations, decades, backgrounds and purpose. So instead of flocking only with your age group, mix it up!
“Millennials want to work with purpose, and they want their workplace to be aligned with their values…the best thing about a purpose-driven culture is you can’t fake it. Recruiting the top talent of tomorrow begins with making a difference today.” Fast Company
How has your organization seen success in engaging Millennials? We’d love to hear about it in the comments.