Millennials often get a bad wrap for being unfit for the workforce due to a mentality of entitlement, laziness, and the propensity to jump ship for new employment every year. These beliefs, however, couldn’t be the farther from the truth. Studies have shown this demographic to be hardworking, dedicated, and exceptional at innovation. If you want to capture this talented group of young people for your business, there are a few things you need to do.
Millennials grew up during an incredible time of change. They were the generation that was born without cellphones and went to college with smartwatches. The remarkable shift in technology that they lived out didn’t just make them tech-savvy but encouraged them to see the world differently, challenge preconceived notions, and innovate for the better. As such, millennials thrive on challenges and opportunities to innovate.
Millennials will accept business methods that are needed and useful.
However, the minute they perceive that a system isn’t working or can be radically changed for the better of the company, they will seek to change the system. For a millennial, there is no reason to do things the same old way “just because” if there’s a better way to do them. Be willing to bring millennials onto teams to help improve your company and view this strength as a benefit rather than an annoyance when they offer solutions to problems you didn’t know existed.
Emphasize Purpose, Value, and Vision
Millennials crave purpose in their everyday jobs. It’s not enough just to make money – they want to know the why behind what they do and how it fits into the bigger company picture. Millennials are far more apt to stay with a company that helps them see where they fit into the big picture and why they are needed. Communicate your company’s vision and where they fit into the big picture. Help them see that they’re valued teammates, not just pawns that help the company make more money.
Millennials also value contribution, team collaboration, and feedback more than any other generation. They want to join in, be counted, and offer valuable input. However, if millennials sense that they are viewed as disposable, they’ll be more likely to look for employment elsewhere that offers purpose and meaning.
Emphasize Growth Opportunities
Like any generation, millennials are looking for jobs that reward their employees, starting with decent base pay. While it is true that money doesn’t drive them, they recognize as much as anyone that they need it to live and raise a family. They also acknowledge that base pay is simply that – a starting point. If they see clear opportunities for upward mobility, they’ll happily strive for the better pay that comes with experience, continuing education, and opportunities offered for further training.
Millennials must be challenged and given opportunities for growth. Millennials are incredibly driven and realize that their time, knowledge, and gained expertise over the long run is valuable. If there is no clear way of moving your millennial employees up in the company and they think base pay will be their destiny, they will leave after gaining enough experience to make them more valuable to another employee.
Bonus: Provide Mentorship
Millennials will be the first to tell you that the generations before them have a lot to share. They value insight, teaching, and opportunities to learn from others experienced in the trade. Provide opportunities for mentorship, and you’ll see your team learn faster and grow more than you thought possible. They value regular feedback from people who see their growth and improvement, as opposed to a once-a-year review from a boss that may or may not be involved with their professional growth. While this isn’t as important as the other three points in this article, mentorship opportunities will be a huge drawing point when seeking to hire – and keep – millennials.