The workforce is changing. Somewhere between baggy pants and iPhones, the millennials grew up, went to college and found jobs. By 2025, they will make up more than 75% of the global workforce.
While baby boomers may see millennials as lazy, entitled job-hoppers, they actually bring a lot to the table. Millennials are more educated and culturally diverse than their predecessors. They are creative, self-expressive, confident, technologically inclined, and ambitious. Their parents and teachers told them they could do anything, be anything; and, as a result millennials have very high expectations for their career and personal life.
Millennials can offer their employers a fresh perspective; but with a disconnect between generations, how can the forerunners keep millennials engaged, build relationships and maximize their potential? The predecessor must recognize the generational difference. What attracted baby boomers and Gen X won’t necessarily appeal to the millennial workforce. Thus, organizations need to appeal to the millennials’ desire to succeed in their career, as well as their personal life.
This two-part series offers several ways to work better with your millennial counterparts. Below are tips that appeal to millennials sense of self and social responsibility.
Work-life balance is paramount to millennials. Growing up, they crammed their weeks full of sporting events, volunteer opportunities and part time jobs. They watched their parents come home late, skip vacations, and miss “the big game” due to their strenuous work hours. They work just as hard as their parents, but a sixty-hour work week is not their cup of tea. Spending time with friends and family, hobbies and personal time are very high on their list of priorities. Companies who forget or don’t understand that, do so at their own risk.
The lines between work life and home life have blurred over the years, much to millennials’ satisfaction. They want to work in a place that values self-expression, where they feel free and comfortable enough to be themselves. According to The Chicago Tribune, a majority of millennials will leave their position if there is a culture clash.
Social Responsibility and Volunteerism
Millennials are attracted to and believe in socially responsible organizations. According to 2010 study conducted by the Pew Research Center, millennials place a higher priority on local and global causes than having a high-paying career. In order to have a successful business, companies need to have similar values to their employees. Providing employees time to work on projects of this nature will not only increase their value of self, but will produce more energetic and effective workers.
Check back for Part II, which will examine ways to retain and attract millennials on a professional level.