In my last post, I stated “I LOVE MILLENIALS” (I really do) and offered some different perspectives to perhaps pivot the conversation to the positives, and away from the overused stereotypes and negative commentaries. Every generation has unique needs, experiences, and events that shape them, and my friends in the Millenial category are no different. Each generation of young men and women inherit the culture, technology, and values that we instill in them. That’s as true now as it was in the 40’s after World War II ended.
Things certainly have changed since June, 1944. That is when President Roosevelt signed the GI Bill into law. Our communities and universities were soon flooded with veterans coming home, whose average age was 26 (National WWII Museum, July 2017). Looking for employment and education, we responded to them and redesigned our educational systems and worklife to serve them better.
Just as the world changed then, the demographics and makeup of our changing workforce are a reality in motion.
According to an NBC News report:
“An unprecedented revolution is happening in workplaces across North America that’s forcing major change within organizations and creating tension among employees and employers. For the first time in history, there are five generations of employees sharing office space….: traditionalists, baby boomers, generation X, millennials and generation Z”.
A June 2015 article in Fortune magazine identified Millienials as “the 54 million adult Americans aged between 18 and 34 in 2015 and now make up one third of the American workforce, the largest generation at work”.
A May 2017 NBC News report stated “Most workers, many of whom are millennials … want their work to have meaning and purpose. They want to learn and develop”.
Our employees will benefit greatly, and more likely stay in their jobs if we do the following:
- Be intentional about building in ongoing growth and learning opportunities. A recent Gallup study indicated the THE most common reason millenials give for leaving a job is “poor or absent career and professional development”.
- Prioritize ongoing coaching & mentoring with younger employees. A 90-day review with a new hire, and then nothing structured or intentional until the annual review is not enough. They may not stay that long unless their leaders make some investments in them.
- Affirm employees’ talents, strengths, and passions and find ways to connect those with their work.
- Provide opportunities for your team to serve the community together. Today’s college graduates are invested in making the world a better place at a local level. Whether it is a volunteer day serving at an area non-profit, or a day working together packaging food for families at a food pantry, do something to engage them in community service.
Employee development is not easy; it is not without investments of time and resources. However, to better engage all the generations in today’s workforce, we would be wise to invest in them, coach and mentor them. In doing so, we are preparing these emerging leaders to become our CEO’s, entrepreneurs, and community leaders.
APA Journal, June 2005, Vol 36, No. 6
2017 Deloitte Millenial Survey