Millennials and Gen Z-ers . . . everyone wants to know and understand these generations better.
- How to attract, engage, interview, learn from, work with, train, and retain them.
- How to understand their experience, their expectations, and their strengths as well as their shortcomings.
- Finally, how to best capitalize on their extraordinary skill with digital technology and heartfelt desire to be the change that this world needs.
We hope the following insights will help you plan for the future as Millennials and Gen Z-ers make up greater and greater percentages of the overall workforce in America.
The Age Range of Generations Y and Z
The current age range of Millennials or Generation Y is between 20 and 35. Following them is Generation Z with ages ranging from 2 to 19.
Their Experience with Digital Technology
They tend to work at a very fast pace when it comes to technology, and they are a quick-study when it comes to new technology. They want and even prefer a digital experience. It is their comfort zone, and most older generations could learn much from them in this regard.
The Purpose of Transparent Leadership & an Open Work Environment
Have you ever thought about transparency as a teaching tool? Millennials have an appreciation for an open work environment which serves as a learning tool as they watch leadership in action. Company purpose, values, and end goals take on a whole different level of meaning as the energy, inspiration and rationale behind the decision-making process play out directly in front of the entire team.
The Supposed Skills Gap
Some people report a skills gap among millennials, but members of this generation have and are making careers out of their unique skill-sets and deep-seated passions. Furthermore, they possess the technological skills to overcome any perceived gap regarding their skill-set.
The Ever-Sought-After Work/Life Balance
Working remotely may interest a few millennials; however, it is more of a fluid type of schedule that they desire – one in which they can move back and forth between the office, home, and personal business all day and evenings too.
Flextime is a huge perk! What if your top employees were allowed to work from home one day each week?
The Opportunity to Learn & Grow
These generations like to learn, so professional development opportunities such as night or online classes (even training on the extensive uses of LinkedIn), conferences, and the chance to invest in business-related books should abound.
A Few Suggestions: Reimburse employees for yearly training expenses up to one week's salary. Also reimburse them for any associated traveling expenses up to one week’s salary. Managers should keep up with what their employees are learning and utilize those skills as often as possible. Furthermore, why not share the specifics with everyone in the company? It's an excellent way to brag on your employees for their accomplishments and to effectively, albeit briefly, place them in the spotlight.
The Value of Networking and Mentoring
Create networking opportunities through brown bag lunches and mentorship programs. Reverse mentoring is also a great thing as these methods of networking help improve company-wide collaborative initiatives and can enhance peer engagement.
You can make mentorship opportunities more prestigious by making them “by-invitation or by-application only” and by involving senior management in this learning process. Depending on the transparency and humility of those in leadership, some 2-sided learning might even occur. And try not to place the responsibility all on one party. Instead, conduct 6-month or 1-year long mentorships, and imitate BNY Mellon, a Boston-based wealth management powerhouse. That is, allow the mentee to work several different types of jobs during the mentorship: a) working with clients; b) in operations; and c) in a back-end role such as accounting or administration.
The Unique Benefits & Purposes of Internships
Improve your employer branding (image) and attract more members of Gen Y and Z by offering 1 to 3-month long internship opportunities to college students. Where is your greatest need? Which departments can barely meet the deadlines set before it? Where is your overtime coming from? Which manager is overwhelmed? Hire interns for these departments.
The Correlation Between Instant Gratification & Successful Outcomes
The desire for instant gratification that millennials are much berated for can translate into the desire for successful outcomes in the workplace. So, it is best when management provides these generations with a deep understanding of their role and the potential impact that a “job well done” will have upon the overall business. In this way, Gen’s Y and Z will find satisfaction as they achieve the “desired outcomes” which managers have set before them as goals.
The Risky ROI . . . Managed
Some hiring managers firmly believe that millennials lack loyalty and that the potential return on their investment (ROI) is risky at best. However, some of that supposed lack could be better managed by doing these 3 things:
- Invest in the personal growth and career development of your employees. Even go so far as to conduct employee evaluations for recent graduates every six months rather than every year or two and give at least one opportunity for a promotion if possible. The goal is to build trust and loyalty.
- Challenge them to strive toward success in meeting all their short and long-term goals.
- Encourage them to feel good about the individual successes they achieve along the way.
The Merging of Enthusiasm & Excellence
These generations possess energy and enthusiasm, especially over what they find interesting and/or challenging to them personally. They want to “be the change” and possess both the knowledge and skills to be the force behind new innovations. Build the overall excellence factor, especially regarding professional etiquette and communication skills, and they will be well on their way.
The Construct of a Good Citizen in a Needy Community
Build good corporate citizens through volunteer work with charities, especially those providing educational opportunities for young people. It may be a daycare that is interested in improving the services it offers children. It may be a non-profit that provides computer training. It may be a mission that simply needs more donations to support their cause - and consider matching your employees’ donations, dollar for dollar.
For even more interesting insights regarding Millennials, check out these related Brannon Professionals' articles:
- How to Better Understand the Mindset & Motivation of Millennials - Click HERE
- How to Successfully Interview a Millennial - Click HERE
- What to Expect from Millennials in the Workforce - Click HERE
- Millennial Recruiting and Retention Strategies - Click HERE