Have you ever found yourself thinking: “What’s with all the Millennial buzz?” or “If I hear one more thing about the needs of ‘Millennials’ I’m going to resign!” Perhaps you’ve asked yourself: “Okay, I get it. But are Millennials really that different?”
If you feel like it’s hard to escape the word “Millennial” every time you’re reading the news, you’re probably right. There are 25 to 30 articles published every day about Millennials (the generation born between 1981 and 1999). And yes they are, really that different. Giving them what they want, as preposterous as it sounds, will enable all of us to thrive in the workplace. Here’s why it’s vital we pay attention:
By 2020, 50% of our workforce will be Millennials. And they don’t communicate or approach work the way other generations do. They are waiting longer for marriage and children, and (heads up employers) they have a lack of attachment to institutions and traditions, too. The average tenure of a Millennial is 18 months and right now, 50% of those with jobs are looking for new ones.
Jamie Gutfreund, Chief Strategy Officer, for the Intelligence Group says, “It is in every organization’s interest to lean how to attract, reach, and motivate Millennials. A few do it well – but most don’t, and they soon may pay a price. No organization can afford to not recruit the best talent.”
So what do the Millennials want? Here are 3 key shifts every leader would benefit from making when it comes to attracting and retaining the younger workforce:
1. From Paycheck → To Purpose — According to the Intelligence Group generational study, 64% of Millennials say it’s a priority for them to make the world a better place. They are very intentional about what they do Monday through Friday and expect the same of their employers. While the paycheck matters, the bigger question for a Millennial is — what global footprint is this organization making? What is their end game? Millennials are keen on beginning with the end in mind and need our mentorship to get them there.
2. From Reviews → To Conversations — If you really think about it, conversations are how work gets done. Imagine if we didn’t talk to our teams for an entire day, week, or quarter? While it may be relaxing in the short-term, we’d quickly realize that real-time and continuous conversation is a critical element to a high performing workforce. Millennials are used to real-time conversation and see limited value in being reviewed from the past. So if they approach you for feedback more frequently than other generations, it’s because they see no reason to not do so. They’re interested in not just being satisfied for a job well done, but being developed into the future.
3. From Boss → To Coach – Millennials don’t want bosses; they want coaches. The traditional command and control style, or Outside In approach, doesn’t land well with this generation. They’re interested in a leader who is InsideOut — who values them as both people and employees, who listens, asks questions, and coaches them to build their own strengths. Coaching is little more than good conversations, which is what Millennials really want.
What Millennials really, really want is to work to live instead of living to work. They’re not balancing the two, they’re blending them. As leaders, starting from a place of purpose, real-time conversation, and coaching is a research proven way to build authentic relationships and high-performing, collaborative teams with your Millennials.
Red Tree Leadership Millennial Study
Gallup’s latest report on How Millennials Want to Work and Live 2016 study