3 Things Every Employer Needs to Know About Millennials

Are you struggling to fully understand the Millennials (aka Gen Y)? They’re the generation born between the early 1980’s and 2000 and they’re the youngest members of the American workforce. While some are still in school, the older Millennials are getting ready to enter their first professional leadership roles, so no matter what industry you’re in, it’s essential to learn about how they this cohort prefers to work and what you can expect from them.

My new white paper, 3 Things Every Employer Needs to Know About Millennials, can help. Inside, you’ll find essential information about Millennial workers’ three main traits and how smart employers can work with these traits to get the most out of Millennials as employees, including:

1. Millennials Love Customization

Baby Boomer parents raised their Millennial children to believe they are special and unique, and that they should have their individuality recognized, respected and celebrated. This hunger for customization has followed Millennials to the workplace. Because of this, your organization must make jobs, career paths and other work experiences customizable so they appeal to Millennials. This generation expects flexible hours, customizable job titles, the freedom to arrange their workspaces and other perks that reflect their individuality.

2. Millennials Crave Coaching and Feedback

As Millennials grew up, they joined sports teams and other activities where coaches gave them constant feedback about their performance and trophies for participating. All this positive reinforcement gave Millennials a strong sense of self-esteem, and they’ve come to expect recognition, feedback and rewards as they move into the workforce as well.

Millennials will respond when coached and given feedback. Managers who communicate clearly with them Millennials about what’s expected, how they’re doing and what they can expect on the jobs will help them thrive. Millennials also like to be recognized for their efforts.

3. Millennials Are Tech Savvy

Members of the Millennial generation grew up with screens — computers, smartphones, video games and so on. Now they use technology to socialize and build their careers through instant messaging, texting and platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. And they’re comfortable making personal and professional connections via digital means.

Combine this technological fluency with their wish to customize their jobs, and you’ll find Millennials have a fairly fuzzy line between their work and home lives. Millennials are happy to answer a work email after hours or on the weekend, but they also expect the flexibility to check their personal email or text a friend while they’re in the office.

Understanding what motivates Millennials and what they expect from their careers can help you make your organization a place they want to work — now and into the future.

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Lindsey is a globally recognized career and workplace expert and the leading voice on generational diversity. She has spoken for more than 300 audiences including Google, Goldman Sachs, Estee Lauder, Stanford and Wharton. Lindsey is the author of four career and workplace advice books, and her insights have appeared in media outlets including The TODAY Show, CNBC, NPR, the Harvard Business Review and the Wall Street Journal.


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