There are a lot of opinions that fly around about the Millennial Generation. Who are they? What motivates them? Why are their expectations and approaches so different?
Truth be told, this is the generation that is the first to truly “grow up” in a global marketplace, in a time when the world is relatively small. Doing business “out of pocket” and having information readily available with the ability to get an immediate response is what this Millennial Generation is used too. While things like long term financial security were important to the older generations, the constant flux of financial markets, demographics and the environment create a situation where, really, the future is an uncertain yet wide open idea.
It stands to reason that their impact in corporate organizations already has created a vastly different footprint. Their attitudes and persona have forced HR professionals and all levels of management to evaluate how business is done, but at the end of the day, like the Baby Boomers, the Gen X’ers, and every other generation, the Millennial Generation wants to know that they have made their contribution. The market place may look a bit different with the Millennials “coming of age” but the impact they can make in a truly global market is really beyond measure.
Here are some thoughts from HR executives and other business leaders about the Millennial Generation and the workforce.
“Millennials will only work somewhere where they see themselves advancing, so setting goals
and regular meetings and reviews will help keep them engaged.”
– Michelle Burk, Marketing Supervisor, WyckWyre
“A reverse mentoring program can help identify the gaps that emerge from this intergenerational training process. Companies can use this info to go back to the drawing board to ensure the training is flexible enough to meet shifting needs and environmental demands.”
– Zach Schaefer, Founder/President, Spark The Discussion
“What millennials tend to value on a day-to-day basis is the presence of an involved and knowledgeable coaching figure who not only assigns work, but also provides instruction and support that will help the millennial employee grow and develop through that work.”
– Carina Chivulescu, Director of Human Capital, The Expert Institute
“Millennials are looking for the opportunity to prove themselves and for recognition that they are contributing to the success of their team or organization. The best way organizations can do this is to show millennials the connection to the work they’re doing. It’s important to help them set goals that tie back to the larger organizational priorities so they understand how the work they’re doing contributes to the organization’s success.”
– Xari Chartrand, HR Business Partner, Halogen Software
“Millennials want to do a good job. Rather than be spoon fed instruction, they want time to figure out things themselves with check-ins from management.”
– Sara Benz, Leader Recruiter, The Messina Group
“It’s important for companies to understand the Millennial generation in order to prepare for them in the workplace. Millennials are more connected than any other generation, so a bad experience can change the perception of the entire company, but a good experience can enhance future recruiting efforts.”
– Chris Ohlendorf, Chief Talent Officer, Versique Search and Consulting
“Understanding what business attire constitutes, respectful language, and decorum are a challenge for them. They are enormously capable, intelligent, and hard working, but lack social graces.”
– Mark McMillion, McMillion Leadership Associates
“Leaders of younger generations are from the most social generation in history. They are in constant contact with peers and family through iMessages and social media. But, they are also highly isolated because so much of their relational contact is through technology. This has led to poor people skills, low emotional intelligence and the inability to handle interpersonal challenges. Leaders should work to build relationships one-on-one. *A helpful way to do so: Join industry or peer communities to take advantage of meeting and networking in person. Not only will this help their professional development, it will also help them learn to communicate on a level playing field with those of various generations and years of experience.”
– Tim Elmore, Founder/President, Growing Leaders
“One of the biggest frustrations, and easiest issues to resolve, that I find most organizations are experiencing is that the trainers and/or managers make assumptions of what today’s young professionals already know before they walk in the door. My advice is to more clearly communicate expectations. It’s not rocket science, but it’s often overlooked and all too often I hear, well, she should have known. That’s unnecessary judgement as well as a huge red flag saying you haven’t explicitly shared your unwritten playbook of rules with new hires.”
– Cara Silleto, Founder/President, Crescendo Strategies