Millennials are entitled, slothful, and idealistic right? Wrong.
At the March Philly HUG, Kate Athmer (@KateAthmer) Demand Gen Ops Manager at Integrate, author of Millennial Reboot, explained that millennial’s are industrious and ambitious but often face obstacles because of negative perceptions of a weak work ethic.
Millennials, or those born between 1982 and 2000, represent about half of the U.S. workforce and are often misunderstood. This generation – some of whom are becoming first-time parents— now outnumbers Baby Boomers at over 75 million.
A few characteristics separate millennials from Generation X and Baby Boomers. For example, millennials tend to be tech savvy and focused on efficiency in the workplace. This in part stems from growing with the Internet an evolving technology that answers questions faster than any other resource in human history.
On the other hand, millennials need to be pragmatic about the actual time it takes to change the status quo in any company. Instead of expecting a promotion after six months, plan your work around annual goals. These goals can be related to your professional development in fact they should but also keep a view toward growing your business. After all, no one likes a person who is not a team player.
How Can Managers Help Millennials?
The Millennial Reboot author noted that millennial job turnover costs the United States an astounding $30.5 billion each year. That is apprimoximately the annaul revenue of Nike!
Millennials may be technology rich however companies to be resource and experience poor when it comes to managing the next wave of leaders. In fact, it is costly.
Athmer recommended ways for managers to improve the chances of success in the workplace:
- Build an environment where it’s ok to fail
- Don’t dismiss creative, out-of-the-box ideas as idealistic
- Allow Millennials to make decisions in their area of responsibility
- Keep your jaded perspective to yourself
- Stop referencing age -they don’t bring up your age!
Millennials are 65% less likely to leave their current role if they are meaningfully involved in their work.
According to Dr. Michael J. Rivera at Temple University's Fox School of Business, engagement goes beyond feedback. The professor, writing for Technical.ly Media in early March explained, “Just because millennials want more feedback doesn’t mean they are prepared to give it effectively or receive it effectively without a clear foundation in place.”
Managers are critical to developing and retaining millennials however Athmer explained millennials can make a bigger impact with the following tactics:
- Adapt your communication
- Exercise empathy
- Consider the big picture when pursuing change
- Don’t get to caught up in the weeds
- Use data!
- No pointing out problems without solutions
- Make sure your boss knows what you’re up to
Millennials can lead the process of gaining buy-in by preparing at every step. In the short term, this is challenging. In the long term, it builds leadership skills and credibility.
Can Marketers More Effectively Reach Millennials?
Millennials are the most racially diverse generation in American history. That means marketers need to validate campaign ideas and develop creative to engage the different audiences.
Effective marketers master marketing orchestration not automation. Marketing orchestration, Athmer explained, entails long term planning, strategic execution, and relevant KPI measurement of campaign activities. Marketing orchestration respects the role of creativity in campaign development through a human voice and adopts an audience-centered approach to content creation.
According to a Buzz Marketing Group study, millennialls are not a digital-only generation as 78% listen a radio or stream music daily and 87% still read at least one magazine each month. This belies the smartphone addicted characuture of young professionals.
Athmer warned, "Do not be a marketing janitor." Instead marketers should avail themselves of the tools, like HubSpot, and data that can help them meaningfuly this generation.
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Special thanks to Viral Video Marketing for creating the following recap video -- check it out!