Learning how to become the employer of choice can be challenging. Just like the baby boomers before, the younger workforce will have a significant impact on the workplace. First, not all millennials are the same and many consider themselves different from each other.
[Too many ugly labels have been placed on our generation and some of them seem contradictory. Each one of us is different and our culture, values, backgrounds and beliefs play a huge part in who we are. Wouldn’t it be reasonable to say that everyone possesses some degree of each of those attributes?
“Our generation is viewed in this regard because we have the ability to speak our minds, be creative, understand what we want out of life and live life to the fullest.”
“Everyone is different. Companies just need to find individuals that will work to benefit the company.”
"Most people in our generation act for the greater good yet are not recognized for that because our generation isn’t known for being hard working or compassionate." ]
Millennials are a challenge and most companies are not prepared. The average company will evolve organically while organizations on the “cutting edge” will utilize this time of change to create a competitive advantage. Following are eight questions to ask about your own organization:
Millennials have been taught to speak their minds, to be creative and want the best from life. If the job takes away from the quality of life they live, they will not tolerate it long. Long hours with no end in sight simply will not attract the best.
Technology has been a part of their entire lives. Attempts to limit access to technology without valid reasoning will not be attractive. Additionally, organizations that look and feel old-fashioned are not going to retain employees with other options.
Millennials also want to be praised and acknowledged for their work when they have earned it. Organizations that do not train supervisors to give feedback (there is a technique and a skill to be learned here) cannot expect to keep the best.
Finally, millennials do care about career development. It just may not be with your company. I recently gave a speech and while signing books a twenty-seven-year-old engineer informed me that he has worked for three different companies since graduating college four years earlier. Curiously, I asked him if he thought it was odd to change jobs so often. His response was remarkable, “Why should I stay with one company when presented with a better opportunity – why hurt or limit myself?” Of course, the stigmas of loyalty and dependability by the standards of older generations are gone. Millennials do not like the judgment as one group. However, while the stereotypes do indeed exist, we must adapt our organizations to become attractive to those that have the most to offer. Organizations that do not seek to improve will end up with the millennials that have no other options. We call that the proverbial “Bottom of the Barrel”.