Just as joining the workforce seems intimidating to Millennials, it is also is intimidating for Baby Boomers, Traditionalists and Generation Xs to embrace the new work style they have to offer. By the year 2020, 40 percent of the world’s workforce will be made up of this generation, a date which is seemingly drawing closer.
It’s not always a smooth transition when incorporating and connecting with younger generations. Senior executives that have been using the same business and communication tactics for a decade are not always open to new initiatives and changing infrastructure. An area such as social media has been a tough topic for many professionals to grasp, and the use of social media will continue to grow as younger generations take hold of the reigns.
Assistant Professor of Public Relations and Social Media at Eastern Michigan University, Regina Luttrell, Ph.D., and Metro-Detroit Communications and Marketing Professional, Don McLean, M.B.A., discuss five areas when working with Millennials in April’s edition of PRSA’s PR Tactics. Although it may seem like a time consuming challenge, considering these areas can generate ideas and promote modernization.
- Collaboration and innovation: As a professional at a higher career level, it’s easy to dismiss the ideas pitched by younger generations. It’s the employers’ responsibility to make sure the Millennials feel included and listened to as most learn more effectively in collaborative work. By dismissing their contributions and ideas, the tech-savvy generation is more apt to leave the company and become a competitor. Millennials want to feel like a part of the organization and not be dismissed or overlooked by upper management.
- Customized jobs and professional development: Millennials have grown up with more control and customization of technology than any other generation before. They are comfortable with customizing anything and employers can recognize that by customizing positions and job descriptions. Millennials still love to learn from experience, and by exposing them to professional development and involvement groups, it can help them grow as an employee.
- Freedom: Everybody wants it, but as society is becoming more technologically driven, Millennials are expecting it. An eight hour work day is becoming quickly outdated as employees can work from home and on the go. Millennials are always connected, usually within arm’s reach of their smartphones, so it never really seems as if they leave work. They seek freedom and flexible work hours because they are always accessible when out of the office.
- Mutual respect: This shouldn’t be an issue on a personal level, but sometimes senior-level employees can demand more respect than their 20 or 30-year-old colleagues. As power-hungry Millennials realize this, it can be very off-putting. Issues can arise when a younger employee feels although they are being held back from expressing their ideas and contributing to the team. Ninety percent of Millennials believe they deserve their dream job, and will continue to put in as much effort as they can to achieve it. Without the feeling that their employers are allowing them to flourish, loyalty and productivity can be sacrificed.
- Fun at work: Work doesn’t always have to feel like work. By creating a comfortable, lightened environment, it will bring out the best in the younger generations. Companies and organizations that appear fun and relaxed automatically grab the attention of Millennials and can help improve office morale. Companies such as Google and Zappos heavily promote this work and lifestyle balance, and although you don’t need nap room and free daily lunches, any small perk will keep spirits high.
These concepts don’t have to be used in extreme measures, but younger generations like Millennials will benefit and appreciate them greatly. As much as it is a challenge to incorporate the ideas and free spirits of upcoming generations, it’s wise to remember who will be leading our companies and overseeing content in the upcoming years.