Hello SOTGC community,
Have you heard that one in every three employees in the U.S. will be a millennial by next year, and by 2025 they will become 75% of the global workforce? According to Dan Schawbel in Forbes, this is the reality.
Do you manage a team, or work on a team, with someone born since 1990?
What about you, were you born since 1990?
What makes a Millennial at work unique from other generations?
- Relational—They long for “family” or community experiences, but many have seen unhealthy models. The paradox is that Millennials long for committed relationships … but often don’t know how to experience them. Dr. Tim Elmore says in his article, Six Millennial Statistics Every Adult Should Know, that there is a high level of angst to the degree that about half of them are so overwhelmed, it’s difficult to function. In a healthy view, 38% of Millennials are bilingual, up from 22% in 2003. They embrace the idea that they live in a society bound by a worldwide web and they’ll work in a global economy.
- Well-educated—Tim Elmore goes on to say 23% have a bachelor’s degree or higher, making them the most educated generation ever. Obviously, some have stayed in school due to a poor economy. (It just wasn’t a good time to launch a career.) So they’re well-educated but may need to take a job they are over-qualified for at first. It also may mean they take a job where they must “pay their dues” in order to make progress.
- Jump ship—This next one might make a boss nervous but it’s related to the relational connection. Seventy-one percent of Millennials at “regular” jobs would prefer to quit their current job to work for themselves. Sixty percent of them plan to jump ship in the next two years. They just want to work on their terms as reported in a BBC Capitol article by Eric Barton. What has driven this change? Primarily, the death of company loyalty and increased job insecurity, according to Jason Dorsey, an author and consultant in Austin, Texas, who specializes in management issues for millennials. “If their bosses don’t allow them flexibility, they’ll job hop — also more acceptable these days — and that means the company potentially loses out on young talent.” While previous generations were expected to adapt to their workplace, the Millennials see the value of working for a purpose beyond themselves.
- On-Mission—A company who captures this one will reap the benefits. Dr. Elmore reports 87% of Millennials consider a company’s commitment to social and environmental causes when deciding where to work. To retain them, companies must find ways to care about the world around them, not just the bottom line.
Tips for Reflecting or Talking It Out
In the same article by Tim Elmore, he suggests these questions to continue the conversation:
- How can we enable young adults to capitalize on their education and leverage it to take them where they’re most gifted to serve?
- How do we help them discover their identity and “niche” during their young adult years?
- How can we help this multicultural and bilingual generation leverage their strengths in a global economy?
- How can we capitalize on young adults’ desire to improve the world and, at the same time, demonstrate that they may have to do “little” things first?
Tips for Supervising or Managing
Adapting to this growing workforce means changing two key facets of management from Dorsey and Gates as reported in a BBC article by Eric Barton:
- Receiving more feedback — holding millennials accountable and giving them regular check-ups. Once a month is generally enough. “Good feedback means an analysis of the previous month, what they did right and wrong, and how they can grow from there.”
- Freedom to redefine the way they work — they’ll thrive better in a workplace that respects someone who shows up late or darts out early but still gets the work done. The flexibility to clock in remotely, instead of working only from their desks, reinforces the practice that virtual communication as just as effective as face time.”
As we learn what differences can create a stronger work environment for the growing workforce of millenials, we will improve work environments for all generations. And, as Barton reports, “let’s face it, workers of all ages juggle everything from family commitments to long commutes, so the demands young workers are making could very well make workplaces better for everybody.”
How can this help you in your workplace? Which of the tips will you employ right away?