“The vast increase in literacy in Modern Standard Arabic in this generation over previous ones allowed the millennials to communicate beyond the small groups that use their dialect. Literacy also bestowed on them the confidence to challenge their elders, born in part of a realization that they possessed competencies their parents and grandparents did not. Sometimes these skills gave women advantages, including on the Internet.”
The fastest-growing demographic in the workforce knows a few things about motivating and leading others.
With their widespread entrance into the workplace, millennials are bringing new requirements of employee engagement that include creativity, entrepreneurialism, and accelerated career growth. Research by Deloitte is projecting that millennials will make up 75% of the global workforce by 2025. They are supportive of—and engaged with—companies that care about more than a high-profit margin.
Leaders are noticing the change. According to Deloitte, 78% of business leaders rate retention and engagement as urgent or important.
What secrets of employee engagement can you pick up from millennials? It’s not about pay or work-life balance. Here are some ways to increase engagement in your organization:
Even when young professionals post out-of-office messages, they’re still connected. Here’s why employers should give the option to check in.
No matter where you take your summer holiday, if you’re a millennial, then you will likely be packing your inbox.
According to a recent study by HR consulting firm Randstad, 52% of millennial employees reported feeling compelled to respond to emails outside of working hours. Despite their ability to connect with the office while away, 40% of generation Y employees reported feeling guilty about using all of their vacation time, compared to only 18% of baby boomers.
Jim Link, managing director of HR at Randstad, attributes some of this generational difference to the fact that millennial employees are in earlier stages of their careers and are apt to feel more anxious about appearing responsive. They are more hesitant to take time off for fear of missing out on career opportunities, he adds.
Baby boomer employees who have more seniority may feel a greater sense of security, Link explains. Therefore, they value freedom when it comes to taking vacation time and creating a clear separation between work and home life.
“If you’re young, you’re trying to show your value in an organization,” he says. “The bleeding between work and life is also more pronounced among millennials. They’re also the group who are most comfortable being connected while they’re away.”
Millennials have great expectations entering the workforce this year, but it’s not just about meeting those expectations when it comes to winning top recruits: How you get your company in front of job seekers is just as important.
"What auto manufacturers, along with much of corporate America are missing here is that the vehicles to freedom and personal identity have changed for this generation. The sooner brands get a grip on this reality the sooner they can make adjustments in how they market to and communicate with this core group, which is essential to their long-term success."
“When building your team, don’t hire a skill set, instead choose people that you wouldn’t mind going for a hike with after work, and trust that most people will step up to the plate and learn the skills that they need.”
At The Hatchery's recent 2013 Women Leaders Summit, attendees had an opportunity to hear from highly accomplished women leaders including author Christine Comaford, President and CEO of Leader to Leader Institute Frances Hesselbein, and author and motivational speaker Carole Hyatt.
In a panel moderated by the Wall Street Journal's Gabriella Stern, the women offered their collective knowledge on topics ranging from discrimination (Hyatt couldn’t take out an American Express card to start her first business in 1960), to work-life balance, to failure. Fast Company's Cecelia Bittner had a chance to attend. Here's what she heard:
According to Hesselbein, facing and overcoming failure requires a sense of exuberance that young people today are bringing into the work force. She describes it as a positive attitude that allows one to view a challenge not as a burden but as ”an opportunity to do something remarkable.”
Hyatt said it’s all about how one handles the disappointment, explaining that an individual can choose to focus their energy on moving past and growing from event.
When asked for 15-minutes of wisdom, Comaford shared the secret to influencing anyone.Emotional intelligence. Comaford explained that all humans crave one of three things: safety, belonging, or mattering. If you can figure out which of those things an individual needs, you can make them do what you want. (Comaford made the entire audience promise to only use that power for good.)
These images, taken by the young Swedish photographer Sannah Kvist, seem to bear that out—snapshots of Millennials surrounded by all of their worldly possessions, which generally occupy no more than the corner of a room. The “All I Own” series stems from Kvist’s personal struggle with consumerism: “I had lived for 23 years when I took the photo of me and everything I owned and thought it was a sad collection of junk I’ve managed to buy,” she tells Co.Design. Similarly, the friends and acquaintances she has photographed since then have been amazed by “how much shit they actually owned.” (If you’ve moved recently, you’re probably familiar with that feeling.) “I think most people actually got an eye-opener when they built the piles.”