According to Forbes Magazine, 68% of corporate companies say they struggle to manage millennials. This is Caroline, Curtis’ marketing manager, and I believe this percentage because I’ve seen it firsthand. You probably have too.
Here’s my list of what may have worked to motivate past generations, but if you attempt them with millennials, you may be disengaging them without intending to.
- Treat us like we’re a dime a dozen. While from your perspective, we have few accomplishments to our name, from our perspective, we’ve been through quite a lot to be where we are today. We know we’re lucky to have a job, but we also know that you chose us out of all of the other candidates, so if you think there’s nothing special about us, the building blocks of your company, then we’ll think there’s nothing special about your organization and move on to the next job.
- Value degrees and awards over character. Ultimately, we care about people who are real, down to earth, and devoted to their work. Degrees and titles and awards ultimately don’t impress us — we want to know the men and women behind the masks.
- Think our love of social media is a waste. Our generation invented social media, and we realize that our ease with it can be an asset in the workplace.
- Bribe us. Taco Tuesdays and casual Fridays are great, but we won’t base the quality of the job environment on them — we will base it on the quality of the people and the environment they create at the job, with or without the free food.
- Begrudge the fact that we want to enjoy our jobs. Previous generations may have been satisfied with sitting in a cubicle pressing buttons 40-plus hours a week, but our generation is asking more out of life. We want to find our passion and to go at it with enthusiasm, which will only make us better employees in the long run.
- Make wide generalizing statements about us. Saying things like, “Millennials don’t know how to communicate” or “Millennials are all so entitled.” Some of us are, others of us are not. Would you like us to make broad generalizing statements about your generation, such as “Baby boomers don’t understand technology”? Get to know us as individuals, and you may be surprised at what we can contribute.
Keep in mind that by 2020 Millennials will make up nearly half of the workforce (46%).
What is are you or your organization doing to engage Millennials? Please hit reply or comment below to share any tips you have!
*Image courtesy Michael Critz