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Narcissistic? Perhaps. Valuable? Absolutely. The Millennial Workforce.

Quick Insights into the Millennial Workforce

Millennials, those born between 1980 and 2000, have a reputation for being lazy, entitled job hoppers who are more attached to their technology than they are to reality. While in some instances this may be true, it does not negate the fact that Millennials are the largest generation in the workforce in 2015 (US Bureau of Labor Statistics) and, in less than a decade, will make up more than 75% of the workforce.

Millenial_employeesMore often than not, Millennials don’t quite deserve the widely accepted negative reputation that has become the hallmark of their generation. In fact, Millennials can, and should, be next in line for leadership positions within your organization. They are naturals with technology and social connectivity and are full of ambition and creativity. As more Millennials enter the workplace each year, who better to lead them than one of their own?

According to the 2015 Millennial Majority Workforce study, more than half of all hiring managers report difficulty in finding and retaining Millennial workers. This comes as no surprise since the same study reports that more than half of Millennial workers expect to stay with an organization for no more than three years.

As the face of the workforce changes, it is important to take note of what engages and motivates this group. Here are a few insights into the Millennial Workforce:

  1. It takes more than money to motivate Millennials. A survey conducted by UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School reported that there were other job factors Millennials found to be just as important as salary. These included meaningful work and a sense of accomplishment. The survey also reported that one third of Millennials said social media freedom and mobile work opportunities were more important than salary in deciding to accept a job offer.
  2. Forget about the annual performance review. According to the UNC study, 80% of Millennials said they prefer feedback almost immediately. This means a constant review of efforts and frequent updates on progress towards goals. This real time feedback, paired with structured assignments, will provide opportunities for them to learn and grow within you organization. This brings us to the next point:
  3. Almost two thirds of Millennials said that professional and personal development was the most influential factor in their current job (UNC Study). Training and development are important to them, and they expect success to be rewarded with opportunities for promotion. If they are not promoted within your organization, they will go looking elsewhere for the opportunity.

If you take away nothing else, remember this: Ignore the Millennial stereotype! Findings from the 2015 Millennial Majority Workforce study reveal that Millennials have more of the skills businesses require to remain agile and innovative. Advantages they have over prior generations include adaptability, idea creation and the ability to learn and adopt new technology rapidly.

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