What Millennials Can Bring to Your Business

Gallup’s 2016 report, “How Millennials Want to Work and Live,” puts numbers to the suspicions we’ve had all along – millennials are altering the status quo.

Millennials hold strongly, more than previous generations, the belief that work has to be more than a paycheck; it has to have real-life value, and millennials aren’t finding the value in many jobs today. Reports Gallup, “Millennials have the highest rates of unemployment and underemployment in the U.S., and only 29% of employed millennials are engaged at work.”

Should businesses take notice? Does this discontent among millennial workers matter?

Yes, says Gallup, “Because the strength of the marketplace and workplace depend on what the millennial generation can accomplish. If millennials cannot find good jobs, the economy will continue to lag. If they are not engaged in those jobs, companies’ profitability, productivity and innovation will suffer. And if they are not thriving in their well-being, they will struggle in life, affecting how they perform as citizens, consumers and employees.”

How can businesses increase engagement among millennials? And what can an engaged millennial workforce bring to your business?

Gallup’s #1 take-away for businesses was that millennials want to do meaningful work. That’s a great quality. A working-for-the-weekend mentality may lead to more pacified employees (since a paycheck is all they expect from a job), but when workers want more than that – when they want to really believe in the work they’re doing – a good fit will mean a powerful workforce.

What are your company’s big-picture goals? How do workers in every department on every level contribute to these goals? How can employees find success in your company? How can they grow and develop and become increasingly instrumental in fulfilling these larger goals and purposes? Give millennial workers answers to these questions, and watch engagement levels increase.

Millennials want purpose and opportunities for growth in a company, and they want plenty of communication and training along the way. This can also be a huge benefit to businesses.  Regular communication throughout every level of a company can help all employees stay engaged.  Rather than yearly or quarterly reviews from managers, millennials are looking to be part of a team. They want consistent feedback, suggestions for growth, and increasing opportunities for work that coincides with their strengths. Millennials want to believe in what you’re doing, in what they are doing alongside you.

Stereotypes of the millennial generation usually point out a lacking work ethic, self-centeredness, or an addiction to mobile devices. Gallup’s report showed that millennials are sick of talking about their weaknesses, and want to put their strengths to work for businesses.  Mobile adeptness, for example, can be of huge benefit to companies today. Let your workers weigh in on marketing decisions, social media usage, the company website, online application and on boarding processes, and company culture.

Gallup’s report summary concludes, “More so than ever in the history of corporate culture, employees are asking, ‘Does this organization value my strengths and my contribution? Does this organization give me the chance to do what I do best every day?’ Because for millennials, a job is no longer just a job — it’s their life as well.”
Companies wanting an engaged millennial workforce would be wise to consider these issues and make appropriate changes.  Millennials want to bring their life to your business – they want to believe in what you’re doing and use their strengths to work with you. That is of great benefit to any company.

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