Millennials are often described as lazy, narcissistic job-hoppers who care more about their iPhones and social media than their careers. And while the stereotypes have some level of truth—a 2015 Gallup Poll found that they are the least engaged cohort in the workplace—the truth is, by 2020, millennials will make up half of the global workforce. According to journalists David and Jack Cahn, it’s time for employers to cater to America’s most powerful generation.
QG: What does an employer need to do to keep a millennial at the company?
David Cahn: An employer needs to create a positive work environment where millennial can advance their careers and keep growing. Millennials expect to be treated as equals and want to keep improving.
QG: How does social media driven millennial affect the workplace? Good or bad?
David Cahn: Social media is just the modern day town square. This isn’t good or bad, it’s just different. Employers have to get used to the constant branding and competition for attention that social media provides. Can social media be a distraction? Sure. But employees who use social media are also much more likely to be able to use it to help growth your business.
QG: Millennials are the Engaged generation. How can companies use this engagement for the better of the company?
David Cahn: Millennials need to help companies engage their customers in new and exciting ways. In business today, customer service is of growing importance – and millennials are helping gamify traditional businesses and experiences to make them friendlier to young people.
QG: Why do you find that employers lose millennials as they jump from job to job?
David Cahn: Employers are not proactive about keeping millennials. They allow the job to get boring and stop providing new learning opportunities to their employees. Like any good relationship, a professional relationship requires continued work and reflection. If an employer neglects that relationship, their employees will find somewhere else to work.
QG: How can employers use offering opportunities for growth, mentorship, and student debt relief to attract Millennials?
David Cahn: I think growth and mentorship are the top priorities (debt relief is interchangeable with higher salaries, so I don’t see too company companies doing this). Employers need to get in front of their employees and say “You are valuable. This is why I want you here, so I’m going to make it worth your while to stay. Here’s how you can keep becoming a better professional.” I think that works and a lot of the time its low hanging fruit for employers who let hierarchies get in the way of building the best possible team.
Make sure you pick up When Millennials Rule: The Reshaping of America co-authored by David Cahn.