Millennials in the Workplace

Last week, we attended the Gallup Summit where the company shared its latest research on Millennials. The Millennial Generation should be top of mind for every CMO and business executive. Born between 1980 and 1996, they are taking the world by storm. 75 million strong, this generation brings with it significant changes and challenges for companies from both a culture and consumer perspective.

Millennials now make up a growing percentage of the overall workforce — it’s important that companies understand how to engage this critical segment of the employee population. What challenges come with this generation in the workforce? First of all, only 29 percent of Millennials in the workplace are engaged — in fact, six in 10 are actively looking for new employment. To get them engaged, companies are going to have to change. Here are a few things business executives can expect to undertake if they want this generation to be actively engaged and highly productive in their business.

Purpose matters. This generation wants to work for companies that have a clearly defined purpose. They want to know how your company makes a difference in the world. More importantly, they demand that you tell them how their role connects with and contributes to this greater purpose. They want jobs that have meaning. Purpose is more of a motivator than pay.

Development is the highest priority. They want and require the company they work for to provide opportunities to learn and grow. Almost 60 percent of them rate growth and learning opportunities as the top priority when choosing a company they want to work for.

Coaching is expected. Millennials expect their managers to do more than just manage them; they expect them to coach them up. Managers must be prepared to individualize the expectations they have for this generation and then help them consistently achieve higher levels of performance in their job.

Consistent conversations are required. Annual reviews won’t cut it for this generation. They want clear, consistent and continuous feedback. 44 percent of Millennials who report their manager holds regular meetings with them are engaged, while only 20 percent that do not meet regularly with their boss are engaged. More importantly, 72 percent of Millennials who strongly agree that their manager helps them set performance goals are engaged.

Focus on their strengths to succeed. If you want to maximize productivity from this generation in your workforce make sure their job maximizes their strengths. Having a job that makes the most of their knowledge and skills is of greatest importance to Millennials. The same holds true when it comes to feedback — make sure you tell them how you are helping them exploit their strengths, not improve their weaknesses.

Ask and talk about their overall well-being. This generation looks at life from the perspective of their overall well-being — this includes work and life outside of work. They want their managers to talk to them about all aspects of their life and those conversations can include topics concerning physical, social and financial goals.

Make no mistake about it; company cultures will change because of the Millennial generation. Why is this important to CMOs? Because these individuals will play a more significant role in your customer experience in the years ahead. And some say the state of your culture is a direct reflection on the state of your customer experience.

Source: The statistics referenced in this communication are from the “How Millennials Want to Work and Live” report published by GALLUP.

By | 2016-08-26T06:37:20+00:00 May 18, 2016|Categories: Customer Experience|Tags: |

About the Author:

With more than 25 years experience building collaborative relationships with executive teams, Jim brings a wealth of knowledge to every client engagement. O’Gara has spent thousands of hours formulating winning go-to-market strategies and stories for dozens of Fortune 100 companies and hundreds of high-growth businesses. O’Gara’s expertise in go-to-market strategy development, customer research, corporate messaging and positioning, customer experience management as well as customer-centric culture development has earned him the respect of executives around the world. Over the years, his ability to breakdown business, marketing and customer experience challenges in complex industries (such as healthcare, technology and professional services) has been invaluable to CEOs and CMOs at a number of leading companies. Jim is an active member of the Forbes Communications Council and his thought leadership often appears on Forbes.com.