Millennial employees – members of the generation that ranges from the early 1980s through early 2000 – tend to get a bad rap in the workplace. But once you consider their best qualities, you’ll learn they’re a strong asset to your business.
Jim Moffatt, chairman and CEO of Deloitte Consulting, writes for entrepreneur.com that the bad press that surrounds Millennial workers simply isn’t supported by the research his company has conducted. “Millennials, as a generation, have traits that are amazing for business,” he writes.
Learning to foster Millennial growth within your company can help you retain a workforce known for its mobility – a recent Aon Hewitt survey found that 43 percent of Millennials plan to hunt for a new job in 2015. “Research shows there is a clear disconnect between what Millennials expect and desire from employers, and what their employers are actually offering,” Aon Hewitt found. “This gap is negatively impacting the engagement and retention of this generation.” Two strategies can help you harness Millennials’ best traits and keep them on your staff:
Stand for Something
Millennials want to work in organizations that support causes they care about. “Their desire to do good is reflected in their employment – from the companies they consider in an initial job search to the effect an employer’s cause work has on overall job satisfaction,” the Case Foundation writes, summarizing findings from its 2014 Millennial Impact Report. “The idea isn’t to be recognized for doing good; rather, the point is to be able to do good and make a tangible difference through the workplace. As time progresses and Millennials move from being a small, unique segment of the overall workforce to the predominant source of employees, understanding this picture will be crucial to a company’s ability to recruit and retain the best people.”
If your company fits well with your Millennial employees’ values, chances are, they’ll be good for your bottom line, and happy to contribute. “Millennials said that it is acceptable for businesses to make a profit from innovations that benefit society, especially if it’s done ethically and has a positive social impact,” Moffatt writes.
Teach and Allow Them to Lead
Deloitte’s research has found that nearly 25 percent of Millennials want to hone their leadership skills, Moffatt writes. “Additionally, 50 percent believe their organizations could do more to develop future leaders,” he writes. “I don’t know an organization anywhere that wouldn’t want to build a stronger cadre of leaders, ready to take on new challenges.”
The Hartford’s 2014 Millennial Leadership Survey found that 83 percent of Millennials surveyed consider themselves leaders today, and 82 percent aspire to be leaders in the future. “I speak to C-suite leaders on a regular basis, and they speak passionately about their desire to ’win the war for talent,’” Moffatt writes. “There are going to be many strategies to achieving that outcome, but one thing every business has going for is this: It can recruit its troops from a generation that will give leaders an opportunity to win.”