It’s Time to Get on the Millennial Bandwagon

Millennials are no longer a minority in the workforce. They now outnumber Generation Xers and Baby Boomers. According to Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census data, 35% of American labor force participants are Millennials. In terms of population, 56 million Millennials are currently working or looking for work—more than the 53 million Gen Xers and 41 million Baby Boomers in the labor force.

SEE ALSO: Managing a Multigenerational Workforce in the Age of The Millennial

The Pew Research Center defines Millennials as the generation born between 1981 and 1996. Gen Xers are those born between 1965 and 1980, and Baby Boomers were born between 1946 and 1964.

Millennials took the lead in labor force population in 2016, surpassing Generation X. And with Baby Boomers nearing retirement—ranging in age from 53 to 70 years old—the Millennial portion of the workforce will only continue to grow.

What does that mean for organizations moving forward? It means that they should have a strong plan for recruiting and retaining Millennial talent, because these employees are more likely to move between companies than their Gen X and Baby Boomer counterparts.

According to a 2016 Gallup survey, 21% of Millennials say they’ve changed jobs within the past year—more than three times the number of non-Millennials. The same survey showed that 60% of Millennials would be open to a different job opportunity—15% higher than the percentage of non-Millennials.

60% of Millennials would be open to a different job opportunity. Click To Tweet

What’s the story behind these numbers? It starts with engagement. Over half of Millennials (55%) are not engaged in their current position, so they’re willing to move when a better opportunity comes along.

But what do these better opportunities look like? Some key qualities that Millennial employees desire include mentorship and career development initiatives, a culture of transparency, honest communication with management, the ability to work remotely, collaborative work areas within the office, and company-sponsored wellness practices (yoga, meditation, gym memberships). They also want to work for a company that cares about the community and provides opportunities for employees to volunteer and make a positive impact.   

These qualities are indicative of the new type of work environment. And while many people point the finger at Millennials for changing the workplace, technology has actually been the driving force behind these changes. As the first generation of digital natives, Millennials have a high comfort level with technology and are therefore quick to embrace new systems and software.

Over half of Millennials are not engaged in their current position. Click To Tweet

How can organizations capitalize on this technological fluency? What should leaders know about how to manage Millennials effectively?

Set Expectations

Whether it’s the dress code or quarterly goals, ensure that Millennial employees understand what is expected. But also engage them in the process, listen to their input, and be open to their ideas. This will not only boost engagement and accountability, but also ease potential intergenerational tensions.

Ensure that Millennial employees understand what is expected of them. Click To Tweet

Check-In Regularly

One survey found that 85% of Millennials said they would feel more confident if they could have more frequent conversations with their managers. Weekly or monthly check-ins, as well as a true Open Door Policy, can facilitate these conversations.

Provide Career Development Opportunities

87% of Millennials consider professional development opportunities to be critical when evaluating a potential job. Leadership tracks, guest speakers, conferences, training sessions, and mentorship programs can make development a daily focus for employees.

Like this post? Check out our similar article, Why a Caring Company Retains Millennials.

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