Three internal strategies to cater to a new generation of employees
Written by: Leandra Abreu
Baby Boomers and Generation X have had their fair share of challenges in the workforce. They've climbed the ladder of success by putting their jobs first and their personal lives last. They're not fans of group work and feel secure enough to problem-solve on their own. Not only are they workaholics, but they expect generations to come to do their due diligence and work as hard as they did. Baby Boomers and Generation X alike started from the bottom; now they make up the majority of managers and supervisors.
Cue the Millennial generation. A group of young adults who find themselves in college, the workforce, traveling the world or somehow doing all of the above. A segmented subdivision that groups the kids who were born from 1979 to the mid- to late-1990s, these young adults are more than 53 million strong, applying for positions in their fields and flooding into your workplace.
While Millennials are known for their balanced work and home life, their skills in digital media and their poise, employers have found there is room for improvement when it comes to their work ethic. Actually, according to research conducted on popular perception, Millennials lack diligence, have poorly developed organization skills and are prone to job-hop. This can affect workplace relationships, not to mention the workplace environment as a whole.
Seven percent of Millennials are generally satisfied in their current role.
Scary, right? A recent INC article, Why 30 Percent of Millennials Want to Ditch Their Employer Within a Year, explains how LinkedIn surveyed 13,000 Millennial job seekers on questions about job perks and benefits, job satisfaction, and the value of their work. Their findings were astounding, and prompt worrisome thoughts about how to combat this mindset in our future leaders. Perhaps anxious employers need to reevaluate their priorities—less stigmatizing Millennials and more giving this new generation of employees what they need. How can employers keep Millennials attached and devoted to their place of work?
Cater to their need for balance.
Problem: As Millennials dive into the workforce, Gen Xers and Boomers expect them to pay their dues and work their way up the ranks—because that's what they had to do to earn their dream salary. And while Millennials can be workaholics, they also enjoy a healthy balance of work and play. In fact, according to "Millennials in the Workplace: A Communication Perspective on Millennials' Organizational Relationships and Performances," Millennials prefer flexible hours to monetary incentives.
Solution: Promote company benefits such as paid vacation days and work-from-home days.
Open a conversation.
Problem: Although Millennials are perceived as overly self-confident, studies show that this trait is actually driven by the recent economic crisis and mentoring parents and coaches. Twenty percent of Millennials have had childhood hardship, while the others are supported by their parents. They are actively involved in volunteer organizations, working low-wage jobs and seeking advanced degrees. Guidance is a huge factor in the Millennial's life, which means they expect close relationships with and constant feedback from supervisors.
Solution: Communicate openly. By keeping your Millennial employees in the know, you'll encourage them to contribute their technology and advanced communications skills while avoiding missteps with employee evaluations and recognitions. These youngsters love to feel supported.
Collaboration is key.
Problem: Millennials are keenly aware of the world around them, advocating for solutions to pressing social issues. They generally accept cultural diversity and actually have a strong sense of where they want to be in life. Their parents pushed them to value leadership and community service. Sixty percent of Millennials have a strong interest in public service, and they volunteer at high rates. With their experience working on teams—whether in their academic careers or volunteer programs—Millennials feel they work best when working with others, resulting in proven increased productivity rates.
Solution: Encourage teamwork in the workplace. You'll benefit from a fresh perspective on problems and opportunities from Millennials. Although Boomers and Gen Xers may prefer to work alone, teamwork can reinvent company culture, and soliciting input from Millennials will make them feel valuable.
Tipton Communications offers extensive HR, benefit and employee communication services to help you cater to your employees' lifestyle and behaviors, especially the incoming Millennials. Tipton not only has an array of communication specialists who are skilled in these communications, but they're right on target with your needs—as some are Millennials, too. To learn more about the communication services at Tipton, visit www.TiptonCommunications.com.