Is your workplace Millennial-friendly?
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Posted by: Barbara Francella
the most protected, most provided for and most educated generation of all
time" — and work best in nontraditional workplaces, Elisa Webb Hill of XYZ
University told online participants during "Millennials: How to Engage the
Next Generation Now," the NEW Multigenerational Leadership webinar, July
Millennial-friendly work environments for these rewards-focused, digitally
savvy employees without alienating others is critical to organizational
success, Hill said.
Millennial employees —
born between 1982 and 1995, also called "Generation Y" — are looking
to lead, and because there aren't enough Generation Xers to fill positions left
vacant by retiring Baby Boomers, "they're going to move into leadership
positions faster than any generation before them," Hill said.
With an upbringing among
technology, media and messaging, Millennials are natural multitaskers.
"They can take in lots of information very quickly, disseminate it and act
on it," she noted.
While many consider
Millennials to be "spoiled," they are not a wasteful generation, Hill
said. "They are sitting on more than $1 trillion of student loan
Still, the Millennial
generation "is about the next gig," and Hill urged leaders to
consider how they can capitalize on that entrepreneurial spirit.
While Millennials share
core values, it's a mistake to "put them all in one bucket," Hill
said. Many do fall into these categories, though: Digital natives, Recessionistas,
Migrators and Trophy Kids.
exemplify the technological mindset of Millennials. "Wi-Fi is their drug.
They see technology as giving them freedom," Hill said. "For digital
natives, everything needs to be customized, including the work experience."
practically to the debt concerns and are highly informed shoppers. "Before
they purchase a product, they probably know more about that product than the
person selling it," she said.
Migrators are Generation
Y members who openly move away from long-held traditions, expressing themselves
freely — such as with visible tattoos — and have a YOLO (You Only Live Once)
"For a lot of
companies, this is a problem because this generation is interacting with an
older generation," Hill said. All team members must understand that
migrators thrive when they "live, work and play in the same
Trophy kids represent
the stereotype of Millennials most often recognized by older generations, a
generation raised with — and craving — structure and positive reinforcement.
For them, feedback is important. "Feedback doesn't have to be
cumbersome," Hill explained. In certain cases, "feedback can be as
simple as an emoticon."
If you have a trophy kid
on your team, Hill added, "this is the Millennial that raises a hand"
for opportunities to lead and learn.
In general, the
Millennial generation wants to collaborate, make a difference — and have fun.
Understanding their needs, along with the needs of every generation, will
enhance teamwork overall.
"We all want to work in a workplace where
we feel we belong," Hill said.
Multigenerational Leadership Series is designed to help the industry's leaders
and aspiring leaders, of all ages, manage today's multigenerational workforce.
The six-webinar series continues with "When Your Employee is Older:
Leadership Lessons for Millennials" on August 27, 2015 at 1 pm ET. The
series is free to NEW members, who may catch up on past webinars in the NEW
Study Hall. Non-members may view webinars for $99 each.