By now, we are all familiar with the terms Generation Y or Millennials. But who are they exactly? What makes Millennials tick? And why should we care?
Who are Millennials and why should we care?
A Millennial is anyone born roughly between 1980 and 2000. The Millennial demographic includes everyone from your high school senior to your younger co-worker. Fast growing companies, especially those in the technology sector, need to acknowledge that Millennials account for more and more of the workforce. In fact by 2020, Millennials should comprise 50% of the American workforce and 75% of the global workforce by 2030. Savvy companies need to invest in Millennials as they are well on their way to dominating not only the workforce, but also the consumer base. And while Millennials have rebelled against much that characterized their Baby Boomer parents' generation, they can be highly motivated, ambitious, and hard working. So what do you need to know when hiring and working with Generation Y?
1. Millennials Crave Feedback
A 2010 University of Michigan study found that both male and female Millennials valued self-esteem more than sex, food, or alcohol. Men were even found to value self-esteem more than money and time with friends. Such findings explain why Generation Y has often been referred to as the "Me Generation". This valuation of self-esteem surfaces in the workplace as a need for regular and meaningful feedback, which offers employers an opportunity to leverage merit-based rewards and real time communication to engage and motivate their Millennial employees.
2. Millennials Value Team Work
Millennials differ from their Baby Boomer parents in that not only do they have a high comfort level with team work, but they embrace the notion that the team is often more capable than the individual. This point of view can help train Millennial employees as part of a supportive team and can facilitate success with departmental projects. If you make sure to capitalize on the Millennial affinity for teamwork, you can foster increased morale, community, and performance within your company.
3. Millennials are Tech Savvy
Millennials were born into a world of technology that did not exist a decade prior; as a result they are extremely tech savvy. Millennials will have above average electronic literacy and will be plugged into the latest social media platforms and digital trends. Don't be afraid to use technology to engage Gen Y'ers; and conversely, be open to the tech insights and recommendations of your Millennial employees to make sure your business is staying current with the latest trends.
4. Millennials can be Impatient
Generation Y is known for an overarching sense of impatience, having grown up accustomed to a constant and immediate stream of information and media. To get the most out of your Millennial employees, keep them busy and challenged with new tasks; let them solve problems and figure out the best way to do certain things. Millennials often prefer to multitask and will be more engaged in a busy work environment.
5. Millennials are Ambitious
Millennials are a highly motivated bunch. Studies show that 75% of Millennials believe being wealthy is very important compared to 45% of Baby Boomers. Millennials have high expectations of themselves, paired with the confidence to pursue those goals. An environment with clearly defined expectations and opportunities for advancement can be very enticing for Millennials and will likely result in a high level of engagement and performance.
What are your thoughts on Generation Y? How do you plan to prepare your business to engage this burgeoning demographic in the workforce? What practices of engagement have helped you to attract and retain top Millennial performers? Share your thoughts and questions in the comment section below.
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