Most experts assert that Millennials are those born between 1982 and the late 1990s. Guess what….? That means early Millennials are in their mid-30s! They are no longer the ‘kids with the bad attitude’ that we either put up with or ignore. They are our peers… our managers… our leaders. It’s time to get over the exaggerated and stereotypical rhetoric around how Millennials behave and embrace a generation that has much to offer and are in many cases changing the way we do things for the better.
There are stereotypes surrounding every generation… Baby Boomers are averse to change and won’t embrace new technology… Gen X are too focussed on work-life balance and tend to ‘slack off’… these stereotypes are not helpful and we all know individuals that defy them on a daily basis. They have obviously come from a place of majority trends and while we can all find truth in them if we look for it hard enough, embracing these stereotypes leaves us with the potential to miss out on so much. Making hiring decisions based on such stereotypes is ill-considered and unfortunate for organisations that are missing out on great talent that have lots of potential to drive positive change.
Millennials have grown up in a different time… they have seen no major wars or catastrophes on our doorstep, they have grown up in a time of technological advancement like never seen before – the way they communicate, opportunity to travel, access to news and media, the rise of the internet and social media have all impacted greatly on the upbringing of these young people and influenced the way they think and act both socially and in the work place. That doesn’t mean that they are all going to think and act the same way… in fact it can have quite the opposite impact – the experiences and exposure to things such as media and travel can be so diverse that the worlds of two people living literally side by side can in fact be worlds apart.
Engaging Millennials is no longer an option… how you attract them, engage them and develop them will ultimately mean the difference between how they perform and how long they stay. By and large the one common thread we see when interviewing young people is the desire to find meaning and purpose from their career. Working out what it is you and your organisation stand for, what you represent, what value you bring and communicating that to current and potential employees can mean the difference between attracting those that want a job and those that are looking for a meaningful career where they can add value, make a difference and contribute to the organisational purpose.
Training and developing Millennials and those coming behind them is also critical to their success, retention and engagement with the business. Many exceptionally talented, curious and driven young people are entering the employment market every year with so much to offer but needing investment in building business critical skills and behaviours to ensure their potential is reached and the organisation gains maximum return on its investment. We are consistently meeting and interviewing young professionals full of potential and looking for strong leadership, mentorship, training and development to build on their natural talents and hard work through schooling.
By embracing Millennials, seeking to understand them and what they are looking for, matching that with a real sense of purpose and offering them the chance to grow and develop organisations are finding a generation of bright young people full of potential establishing themselves as leaders themselves and getting ready to nurture the generation coming behind them.
I often present to groups at the CEO Institute on how to attract, engage and retain Millennials. Please get in touch if you would be interested in me sharing these insights with your leadership team.
Please share this article:Previous Post Next Post