The Millennial Generation (also referred to as Generation Y or Net Generation), born during the 1980s and early 1990s, has joined three earlier generations in the workplace – Generation X, Baby Boomers and a few not-yet-retired Traditionalists. As the Millennial generation is replacing the Baby Boomers who are retiring, it is important to know what appeals to them and how this will impact your corporate culture.
Characteristics (FACTS) of Millennials:
Millennials place a high value on freedom. They ask “How will this job fit in to my social life?” and are willing to trade security and stability for the ability to better integrate their professional and personal lives. Flexible working schedules accommodate this aspect.
Appreciation of Diversity
The Millennial Generation is a diverse and inclusive generation. Millennials are open to global experiences, especially if such experiences provide career challenges and learning opportunities such as an international assignment. Also, having been taught inclusiveness from an early age, they tend to be more tolerant of other races, nationalities and gender preferences.
Millennials are typically group-oriented and work well in team situations. They see their social habits – connecting, talking and sharing – as natural behaviours that they will bring into the workplace. Having grown up in an interactive world, Millennials enjoy a conversation, not a lecture.
The Millennial Generation is the first generation to grow up with the Internet accessible to them throughout their lives. Millennials see communication devices as recreational items that are constantly available at their fingertips. They prefer instant messaging and texting versus e-mail because it is more efficient and informal. Employers have to provide a strong technology platform to satisfy Millennials.
Many Millennials have a strong desire to contribute to their communities. They value company support (e.g. paid sabbaticals) for volunteer opportunities and will seek organizations with corporate social responsibility values that reflect their own.
Keep the FACTS of this generation in mind and, if necessary, adjust corporate policies, procedures, leadership style and recruiting. The battle for the best available talent will be fierce and the responsibility for attracting and keeping talents rests with managers like you.