We’ve written about how to celebrate your millennial customers, but what about millennial workers?
The Baby Boomer generation (people born between 1943 and 1960) are nearing or have already passed prime retirement age. They are vacating the working place that the Millennials (1980 - early 2000’s) are filling in. Generation X’ers are in there too, moving up in life and finding a nice work-life balance, but it seems like millennials are the group everyone is talking and griping about.
Unfortunately, this generation, also dubbed the "Me Generation" has been easily categorized as narcissistic, lazy, spoiled, and entitled, just to name a few. However, these are the same adjectives used to describe preceding generations like Baby Boomers and Generation X.
Millennials saw their parents working tirelessly at jobs they often didn’t enjoy. As a result, they tend to look for jobs or careers that they know they'll enjoy and can be truly invested in; having a good work-life balance is also important. On the surface it can seem that they are being flippant, spacey, or lazy, but it’s really quite the opposite. Oh, they do tend to bore easily. Of course, this is a whole generation of people we’re categorizing, so these attributes aren’t the same across the board.
At any rate, here are a few tips on how to attract and retain those top-of-the-line millennial workers you DO want working in your company.
Provide Purpose: Millennials don’t like working just for the sake of working, even though they absolutely have to. Millennials desire jobs job that provide meaning in their lives; ones that give them a sense of purpose and accomplishment. Your company wouldn’t exist if it didn’t have a purpose or fill a need. It’s this mission that millennials are looking for when looking for a job. For example, pest control can save lives, swim school memories can last an eternity, and home inspections involves helping to get someone in their perfect home.
Feedback: These kids can be known for always wanting feedback. They are sometimes even criticized for wanting recognition and praise simply for participating. While this doesn’t have to be the case, a solid millennial employee is always open for praise. You don’t have to lavish them every time they do their job; however, if you consistently give them the proverbial thumbs-up, they’ll be reassured that they're going in the right direction.
Flexible and Fun Work Environment: Consider the tech giants like Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Apple who are recruiting the latest and brightest minds in the industry. They’ve got workout facilities, game rooms, media centers, and trendily-designed buildings that scream young workers. Even small and medium-sized businesses can do this. Put a ping-pong table in the breakroom or let them make their own hours so they can exercise, do yoga, or take a break when they want to; just so long as they're getting their work done.
Social Issues: While millennials may not be as informed about politics as previous generations, social issues like homelessness, equal employment opportunities, equality, and LGBTQ are very important to them. They want businesses to give back financially. Go the Tom’s shoes route - they're the ones who pioneered the buy-one-give-one model where every time someone buys a pair of shoes, they give one to someone in need.
If you want to attract a new, young and forward-thinking workforce, consider Millennials. You don’t have to completely restructure your company, but by making some changes to attract this workforce and broadcasting the attributes that Millennials appreciate, you'll be inviting youth and innovation to be part of your company.