Slowly, discretely, and assuredly, Millennials are assuming an important role in the society (even though there is no official definition, this is believed to be the generation born between early 1980s and early 2000s). They have already become the largest consumer group in America, possibly in Europe too, and their careers are thriving. They are taking, or have already taken, leading roles in many areas (such as creative industry, IT, sport, and entertainment). Until 2025, they will comprise 75% workforce. They are changing the world and tailoring it to their needs. Older generations are tearing out their still remaining hair, screaming about the superficiality, laziness, lack of interest, and bluntness of the new generation. Same as their parents used to scream once upon a time. This is simply about a generation gap and lack of understanding. Millennials are different. That is all. It is not relevant whether they are better or worse from their predecessors. They are coming and taking the world over. Those who would not play by their rules will not survive at the market. The majority of marketing topics on Millennials is dealing with marketing aimed at this generation. However, enticing a top professional millennial in one’s company is none the less important; keeping such a millennial in one’s team is even more important, as typical representatives of this generation changes jobs faster than you could imagine.
While their parents emphasized that they were looking for an environment in which they may be promoted, thus expressing how ambitious they were, Millennials are much more selfish. They look for settings in which they could learn. The difference may not seem significant, but it is huge in essence. In the first example, the applicant makes it known that he or she wants to promote the organization he or she is joining. They want to devote their capabilities to company development, and advance at the ladder of success with growth of the business. In the second example, the applicant is entirely disinterested in company development. They are interested in personal development. Working in your company, they want to upgrade their professional, social, and other skills. And surely, to earn as much as possible. Do you think this is unprofessional, and that such people should not be working in your company? Then, you can kiss the opportunity to have top young professionals in your team goodbye. Millennials are birds of passage. For them, loyalty to the company is an alien notion, unless they are company founders, co-founders, owners, or co-owners. This “trifle” totally shifts their attitude to the company.
Millennials do not find status symbols as important as older generations do. They prefer money rather than the company car. Mark Zuckerberg is the idol of the millennial generation. He does not own flashy status symbols – at least he does not show them off, does not date supermodels, and seems to be totally disinterested in luxury. He always dresses the same, because he does not want to waste time thinking about clothes.
Mark Zuckerberg’s wardrobe
Millennials also do not appreciate job titles. The managerial position means nothing to them, unless it is accompanied by adequate benefits. They change job titles such as general manager, commercial manager, financial manager, or executive manager into poorly ringing acronyms CEO, CSO, CFO, and COO.
They are narcissistic. The selfie generation. They stare into monitors all day long. They keep staring into multiple monitors. They are the multi-screen generation. Individualists. They celebrate differences. Unlike generation X and baby-boomers that were insanely optimistic, Millennials are realistic. They live in the Internet. They personalize everything they can. They are a real open-minded generation. They are attracted by changes, even when changes frighten them. They tend to live with their parents even when they are financially independent. For them, it is more important to save money and travel. They are believed to be lazy, but they do not understand the notion of laziness, or regard it differently. They perceive the notion through the state of motivation or lack thereof, as well as understanding or non-understanding the task. They cannot be motivated for jobs the purpose of which they are not familiar. They are not familiar with soldierly obedience. What someone perceives as laziness, a millennial will perceive as lack of motivation.
Regardless of how disloyal Millennials are to their company, they are very dedicated to the task. They have laser-sharp focus and may work very long if they are motivated. They get their inspiration in different places. They are insanely creative. They think in a strange way and reach insane and ingenious ideas to resolve intricate issues. Millennials are a very unusual generation, and it is no wonder that the world has been changing with an incredible pace ever since they came into picture.
How to employ and keep someone who does not appreciate traditional working values, does not promise to work hard, does not express a morsel of interest in loyalty and fidelity, but who has the skills that you need.
For starters, you may offer them:
- Flexibility –flexi working hours, mobility, telecommuting.
- Real support in development and training – not only declarative.
- Company shares, if it is a start-up and if you cannot afford a top professional that you need.
- Modern, innovative, interesting working environment which stimulates creativity.
- Quality hardware and software.
- Possibility of promotion and bonuses need not be mentioned, as you have already understood that a clever millennial will soon leave you unless he or she is promoted and adequately paid for the results achieved.
When interviewed, they will ask you the following questions, either directly or indirectly:
- Which courses will you pay for?
- Who will be I working with in the team?
- How long will it take me to get to a senior position?
- What do I need to do to get to the senior position?
- May I work from home/pub/holiday home/seaside?
- Will I get a share in company ownership?
When making a decision, they will ask themselves the following questions:
- Is there anything to learn from these people?
- Will the company survive the several following years?
- If I get a share in the company, how much it will be worth in five years?
- Does this company fit my lifestyle?
- When will this guy get retired?
Meet their wishes and you will be rewarded by premium quality work, professionalism, innovation, and creative solutions you have never seen before. They will transform you company and prepare it for the future. And the future the young generation is preparing for us is uncertain, thrilling, and fraught with vertiginous changes.
In the end, ask yourself whether you will be able to fit into the world Millennials are creating, whether you are lagging behind the times or you are still keeping up with them. Being a member of this generation means that you were born in a certain period of time (the author of this text is lucky to have been born at the very boundary), but thinking as a millennial is something else. For starters, stop nagging how lazy and irresponsible they are. Then scrutinize what is it that animates, motivates, and attracts Millennials, and what is it that deters them, frightens them, and makes them dissatisfied. Investigate how they think, adopt their habits and manner of thinking, and you will love the world they are creating.