As has been true in previous generations, today a college degree is practically a must, even for an entry-level hire. As more and more college graduates are flooding the job market with education under their belt, some wonder how well prepared they are in terms of skills and experiences to adjust to the realities of corporate America. Those born between 1980 and 2000 are often referred to as the “entitled” or “me” generation. Yet that perception is not completely accurate. Rather, millennials have a lot to offer the workplace. They just need to be effectively channeled, supported and motivated.
The key to unlocking their potential is through coaching and mentoring. Learn to capitalize on millennials’ ability to multitask. Recognize they crave variety, the chance to express their creativity and innovate in their work roles. Second, take advantage of this generation’s “connectedness” and tech-savvy skills. In most cases, millennials know more about social media than any of their bosses. Just watch them with their handheld devices and it’s clear they can navigate in this space. And when it comes to work responsibilities, millennials thrive in environments where they can use technology to research, study, communicate, discover and produce. That said, they still need someone to hold them accountable for goals, priorities and on-time completion of work,
Third, recognize that millennials are willing to work hard, but they want their personal time too. They are not like baby boomers, many of whom were workaholics and sacrificed family time to get ahead. According to a recent survey, 67% of millennials believe that flexibility has a positive impact on productivity. Finally, understand what they expect in exchange for their contributions. They want opportunities to collaborate, to be part of the decision-making process, to know what is going on within the company and be recognized for their achievements. When management recognizes the positive aspects of this generation’s traits, they will be better equipped to help young employees become as successful as they can be.
Selling to Millennials
Just like understanding millennials who are part of your workforce is important, it is equally vital to know how to establish relationships with those who are buying the products or services you sell. That’s why starting from within is the best method. Use the inside intel that your millennials have about how their peers communicate, what types of media they pay attention to and how that media drives their interest in new or repeat purchases. This strategy represents an invaluable resource. After all, no business can succeed if they do not adapt their approach to the ever-changing preferences and expectations of new generations of customers.
A Competitive Business Environment
Millennials are rooted inside an era fraught with a bumpy economy, a deep recession and a highly competitive job market. While the demand for an educated workforce rises, so does the population of incoming college graduates. The reality today is that there simply aren’t enough job openings to provide for the next generation of workers. As a result, competition is stiff, and millennials have to find new ways to prove themselves and be recognized for their value and achievements.