I am pleased that this issue of our newsletter includes input from Roberta Chinsky Matuson, president of Human Resource Solutions. She is an internationally recognized expert on recruitment, retention, and creating intergenerational harmony at work. Roberta and I will be rolling out a new suite of services to help organizations maximize profitability by retaining key staff and enhancing customer loyalty. Our expertise in the generations will enable us to key in on those factors that solidify your relationship with your employees. This will be essential as labor becomes scarcer. Contact us today for a preview of what's to come.
My son Ben is about to enter the job market. He just graduated Clark University summa cum laude as a government major specializing in international relations. A few months ago he said to me, “I know that making money is important, but what I really want to do is make a difference in the world.”
My son is a typical “Millennial” (also called “Nexters” or Generation Y) (i.e., those born after 1980). What motivates them is different than what motivated my Baby-boom generation peers and me. Getting ahead and succeeding financially are important to them but other things are important as well. Here are a few characteristics of today’s millennials:
Millennials possess an earnestness and willingness to grapple with questions of ethics and morality that link them to the idealism once held by their Baby Boomer parents.
Ambition is not in their vocabulary. Millennials have grown up wanting very little. They haven’t had to compete heavily, like their predecessors, for those few plum jobs. They’ll move up on their own terms.
Work-life balance is more than just a buzzword. They have seen their baby-boomer parents work themselves to the ground and they know that there is more to life than work. They are seeking to have fun both at work and away from work.
Constant feedback is important to them. Millennials are accustomed to instant feedback. College grades are posted online as soon as tests are scored; bank account information is available 24/7. They want to know how they are doing on a daily basis.
Long-term organizational loyalty is not important. They embrace change and are not afraid of changing jobs and organizations frequently.
Millennials pose challenges for many organizations today. A good salary, the promise of bonuses and pay increases, promotions, and long-term job security are the currency upon which many organizations rely to entice employees to join and stay. But if new employees don't find these appealing, organizations must seek alternative methods for attracting, motivating, and retaining employees.
Organizations invest a great deal of money hiring and training young employees only to find that they are moving on after a year or two.
WHAT TO DO
If you continue to use the methods of the past for attracting, motivating, and retaining young employees, you will fail. Your organization will become a revolving door and your profits will surely suffer.
- Bruce L. Katcher
Bruce Katcher, PhD is President of Discovery Surveys, Inc. His firm conducts customized employee opinion and customer satisfaction surveys. Learn more at www.DiscoverySurveys.com. He can be reached at BKatcher@DiscoverySurveys.com or 888-784-4367.