By: Ye Chen
We’re in the year 2018, and the topic on ‘Millennials are hard to manage’ is still getting thrown around. As a Millennial myself, I’m often hearing complaints from business owners and executives about our work ethic, such as we’re hard to manage, we’ve got no commitment and no drive whatsoever. Furthermore, there are many articles out there saying that Millennials just won’t work, we’re lazy, and think we’re entitled to a job.
We get it. Back in those days where employers had the “take it or leave it” attitude and employees had the “deal with it” attitude with just about every job, people were happy to have a job and they did whatever they had to do to keep it. That’s an understandable view, however, it’s also largely incorrect — time is changing.
Millennials Want Lives
Like it or not, Millennials are needed for the success and sustainability of your business. If you want to attract and retain the right talent, you need to start thinking fundamentally different and face a new reality. Don’t solve the issue by offering more interesting jobs. Millennials don’t want jobs. They want lives.
According to Jamie Gutfreund (Chief Strategy Officer) of the Intelligence Group, Millennials will represent 40% of the total workforce by 2020. Let this sink in for a moment.
Additional important findings on Millennials are:
- 64% say it’s a priority for them to make the world a better place.
- 72% want to be their own boss, but if they do have to work for a boss, 79% want their boss to be more as a coach or mentor to them.
- 88% prefer a collective work-culture instead of a competitive one.
- 74% want flexible work schedules.
- And 88% want work-life integration where work and life are blended together, which isn’t the same as work-life balance.
Millennials are strategically searching for opportunities to invest in an organisation where they can make a positive difference, preferably one that itself makes a positive difference. This is a certain lifestyle centred around freedom in making choices for themselves and showing a sense of independence.
With the technology nowadays, anyone can do anything with the right tools and aspirations. It has never been easier to work for ourselves or any other organisation, no matter where we live.
Instead of focusing on squeezing whatever you can out of the Millennial workforce before they move on in two to three years, you need to stop and listen. We’re not shy about telling you what we want. Our way of looking at the world and life is often misunderstood by older generation managers.
We aren’t entitled — we are empowered. We want more out of life, and we will get a lot of what we are seeking. This doesn’t make us better or worse, it just means that life is different now. We are growing and evolving. We don’t buy into the concept of sitting at an empty promise desk for eight to ten hour a day trying to look busy for a boss. We see a bigger picture, leveraged by technology. This means the ability to add meaningful value from anywhere at any time.
Regardless of what you think you can get out of Millennials in the short run, it is outdone by the benefits of a long-term relationship filled with ambition, creativity, collaboratives, passion, tech-savviness, and cultural awareness.
So, here are four ways to attract and retain the best of Millennials for your organisation.
1. Creating An Entrepreneurial Culture
72% of Millennials want to be their own boss. This means working when, where and how you like as long as results are delivered. At the same time, it offers flexibility and freedom, and removes discussions around the dead concept of work-life balance. With technology nowadays, work and life look the same. Being your own boss is not a job, it is a lifestyle.
If you embrace the Millennial entrepreneurial spirit and build an internal culture to support, rather than step all over it, they don’t feel the need to leave your organisation to fulfil this desire. Anyhow, results are all that really matters at the end. By giving them the flexibility and freedom, where possible, to be their own boss with a focus fully on results. In long-term, this produces greater employee engagement, loyalty and ultimately better business results.
2. Having A One-Team Mentality
88% of Millennials prefer to collaborate instead of competing with others. There are still many organisations whose employees spend more time competing internally against themselves instead of their external competition. Millennials don’t want to work in such an environment, but they’re interested in working together to make the world a better place. An organisation that truly embraces and lives a “one-team” mentality will attract and retain the best of Millennials.
3. Caring For People’s Success
A step towards attracting and retaining the best of the Millennial workforce and organisational improvement is the recognition that people’s lives matter. Organisations are not special, but how they care about the success and health of their people is. It’s important for organisations to understand that creating a successful life for its people can maximize their engagement and business results. This ultimately leads to their ability to change the world.
Supporting the life success of your employees requires leaders and managers who take on the role of strong coaches and mentors. They should focus on both short- and long-term career and personal development. 79% of Millennials say this is important to them.
4. Communicating Higher Reasons
It’s key that both the Millennials and you know how the required work is having a positive impact on the world. This thoughtful consideration is what will excite them and the next-generation workforce and where true value adds up when it comes to engaging people, fulfilling purposes, and driving business results.
Most businesses are not established with the purpose to make money. They started for a higher reason. Know your industry and organisation’s purpose. Know how you make the world a better place. If you can’t connect the dots, Millennials will look elsewhere. 64% of Millennials say it’s a priority for them to make the world a better place.
If leaders and managers effectively communicate and align both organisational and employee purposes, organisations will experience greater employee and customer engagement, and greater business success. We Millennials are interested in work; we are not lazy; we don’t think the world owes us a living; we want more out of life and we want to leave the world a better place because we live.
We Are Who We Are
If leaders and managers effectively communicate and align both organisational and employee purposes, organisations will experience greater employee and customer engagement, and greater business success.
We Millennials are interested in work; we are not lazy; we don’t think the world owes us a living; we want more out of life and we want to leave the world a better place because we live.