Via Forbes : Your Ultimate Guide To Keeping Millennial Employees Engaged
Like you, I have read plenty of articles about Millennials in the workplace. But I’ve never actually spoken with a Millennial workplace expert. And that’s why I was especially excited to interview Adam Smiley Poswolsky, author of the book The Quarter Life Breakthrough and consultant to companies interested in attracting, retaining and empowering Millennial talent. I caught up with Adam on our From the Dorm Room to the Board Room podcast, and the following excerpt from that interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Andy Molinsky: You have your finger on the pulse of the Millennial mindset. What are Millennials looking for in jobs?
Adam Smiley Poswolsky: I think young people are scared. They’re nervous. They’re entering a very uncertain world. Many of them are suffering from high student debt and uncertainty. They’re not looking to work somewhere for a very long time and get a pension because that kind of contract has been blown up. They’re much more focused on meaning, social impact, purpose, training and mentorship.
Molinsky: So, does that mean you don’t agree with the stereotype of the unmotivated Millennial?
Poswolsky: I think those stereotypes are completely false. Most young people are very motivated. They’re just expecting certain things to happen quickly, and they want more transparency and authenticity in the workplace. But when a mission aligns with who they are and what they want, and when their values align with their workplace and role, they’re going to show up, work really hard and do a great job.
Molinsky: Do you think Millennials are impatient?
Poswolsky: Well, Millennials are used to getting things immediately, whether it’s an Uber or Lyft, Airbnb, a hotel or a date. And of course that’s not how things happen at work. They can’t just swipe right and say, “I want to be promoted,” or “I think we should change the way our organization does this.” That’s not how things work.
Molinsky: So, as a company then, how can I get it right managing my Millennials?
Poswolsky: Focus a lot on learning, education and development – and not just professional development, but also personal development, whether it’s kind of pairing talent with life coaches, or helping their bosses become better coaches.
Via Inc : This Might Be The Real Reason Millennial Workers Seem Entitled
Student debt is contributing to the impression that Millennials act entitled. Here’s how to turn their pressure to earn into a pressure to learn.
When you’re a fresh college graduate, you need to find the right employer and become good at interviewing. But above all, you’re concerned with negotiating your first salary because, for many students, college debt is the first material debt we usually take on.
Recently I was heartened to hear of the story of Robert Smith, a billionaire businessman who made the decision to give the entire 2019 graduate class of Morehouse College an incredible gift: repaying all of their student loans.
As I read the story, a few numbers stuck out that weren’t surprising, but still shocking to see: A graduating class of just 400 students owed a whopping $40 million in school loans. That an average $100,000 per student, with students who likely owe much less or more. This astronomical number got me thinking.
For some reason, we haven’t given Millennials the right to factor in their financial situation when managing their career.
I remember when I graduated from college that my final student loan tally came to about $22,000, which was much higher than the 1999 average of just over $15,000. Despite my higher than average debt, taking on $100,000 in student debt was typically only something aspiring doctors did.
So when you combine today’s Millennial being indebted an average of over $37,000 (nearly 150 percent more than my college years), the Great Recession hitting right when Millennials entered the workforce, and the fact that all this century’s wage gains have been wiped out by inflation, it becomes clear that Millennials are entering the workforce with a much higher school debt-to-income ratio. The school loan payments of today are the mortgage payments of yesterday.
When I started my first company, a recruiting software startup, I was employing many Millennial-aged workers, and like other managers and employers, I felt they were asking about promotions and salary increases far too soon and too often. Media stories about the entitled Millennial generation reinforced the stereotype.
This entitled attitude is no doubt true sometimes, but I think we need to have more empathy when examining the economics that Millennials face today, and how that impacts their feelings about upward mobility.
These awkward conversations with thirty-something employees are not going away, so here’s a few strategies you should employ in order to turn Millennial ambition into both employee and employer success.
1. Try to have a candid conversation about salary.
Like most people, Millennials equate better titles with better salaries, so they clumsily engage their employer and managers about the timing and logistics of promotion. Millennials are new at negotiating bumps to their salary or title, so they’re probably going to approach it in a way that seems out of place.
Before you call your Millennial employee a spoiled brat, first try asking them to be candid if they are more concerned about a bigger title or bigger income. If their desire for promotion has mostly to do with improving their salary, you’ll feel relieved they aren’t simply acting entitled, but rather eager to get help mapping professional growth to financial gain.
2. Create salary bands for your roles.
When a company simply gives you a salary and title, you have no idea what getting a raise looks like, so many Millennials automatically gravitate to title promotions. Ambitious Millennial employees will want to know what triggers the next salary bump. To make sure employees don’t only equate better salaries with bigger titles, your company should create two to three salary bands for every position.
Each band should come with a clear description of expected experience, tenure, and performance. You can leverage these bands to create incentives for the Millennial to achieve certain milestones or performance without getting into job promotion until it’s truly warranted. Each band provides a guidepost for your Millennial earning that next few hundred dollars per month while staying in the same job.
3. Create a roadmap for the employee promotion.
Using a spreadsheet or employee engagement software, define the employee’s next desired position, outlining the skills and responsibilities required of that role. Commit to coaching the employee on the skills and measuring skill attainment proactively.
Ideally, you should continue to assign responsibilities from the new role to your employee, adding to their skills set gradually. This model ensures they feel tangible efforts towards helping their career move forward, while keeping the conversation about promotion honest and tied to performance.
Millennials are now the majority of the U.S. workforce, so now is the time to stop looking at them as spoiled and entitled, and start seeing them as a generation of workers deeper in debt and in need of your guidance as to how they can accelerate their careers and earn more money. If you create a culture where Millennials are only as patient as their performance gains, everyone wins.
Via Forbes : Why Millennial And Gen Z Employees Are Really Leaving You
When recruiting early career talent, many companies think installing a foosball table and stocking the breakroom fridge with beer is all you need. What they didn’t expect was the fact that the Millennials and early Gen-Zers joining the workforce now have far more sophisticated needs and desires that won’t easily be swayed by an open office concept and free beer.
Unlike previous generations, Millennials and Gen-Zers are willing to leave their employers to find a company they feel aligns with their values and overall goals. And that’s a good thing: Gallup reports that about 33 percent of Americans are engaged at work. While ThriveMap found that nearly half of all employees have left jobs that didn’t meet their expectations, a whopping 73 percent of Gen Z employees did. Younger workers don’t accept mediocrity, and that’s good for your business.
But how can you keep those early-stage employees with high standards? Here are three tips to help retain early career talent:
1. Rewrite your job descriptions.
According to Amanda Hammett, a global Millennial expert, the No. 1 thing that drives young employees to quit is a lack of trust. Young employees expect the job descriptions they applied, interviewed and were hired for to match the roles they’re carrying out on a daily basis. However, in many situations, that’s not the case, leaving young employees to feel duped from Day 1.
“When Millennials and Gen Z employees feel they cannot trust what they have been told by their employer, the countdown is on until there are gone,” Hammett says. She’s found that many companies are depending on HR to write job descriptions for roles for which they know very little about the day-to-day intricacies. She suggests companies have their rock star employees in each role collaborate with HR to offer a more accurate view of each position to help curb future turnover.
2. Remember that employees are human.
Neuroscientist Matthew Lieberman suggests that the human need to connect socially is as basic as the need for food, water, and shelter. Regardless of the technology surrounding them at every moment — or the label foisted upon them — Millennials and Gen-Zers are human, which means they’re hardwired (like the rest of us) to crave personal connections. They want to know what’s going on in your life, and they want you to know about theirs.
This doesn’t mean you need to spend hours scrolling their Instagram feeds over the weekend. But it does mean having conversations in the office about things other than the latest project or report due. Learning about who they are outside the office shows them you care about them as individuals, and it helps you, too. You can more easily pinpoint the right person for a particular project, opportunity, or mentor based on what you know about your team members’ goals. When Millennial and Gen Z employees feel they’re seen as more than a number and developed, they’re far more likely to develop a stronger bond with you and the rest of the team, which can typically translates to a longer tenure with your company.
3. Accept that you’ll have continuous challenges.
The 2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey found that 43% of Millennials and 61% of Gen-Zers plan to leave their current job in the next two years. In order to save yourself and your company a tremendous amount of chaos due to turnover and hiring replacements, have conversations with your early career talent about what kind of skills they’re looking to develop. See if there’s some alignment in your own needs or the needs of another leader within your company.
Delanie Olsen, a marketing specialist at an events company in Chicago, mentioned in a conversation with her boss that she’d like to learn about SEO. A week later, her boss approached her about a class that would require Delanie to be out of the office for a full day. Delanie’s boss thought the SEO class would be a good investment of company time, however, to develop Delanie and her skill set — despite the fact that it didn’t perfectly align with her current role. This one act by her boss dramatically increased Delanie’s loyalty to her company and to her boss because it showed a desire to continually challenge Delanie, as well as further Delanie’s skills as a future asset to the company.
Millennials and Gen Z employees aren’t aliens from another planet. In fact, in most ways, they’re just like every other generation that came before. I recently read a book called Marketing to Gen Z that really helped me think about how I’m engaging the younger generations. I strongly encourage others to consistently educate themselves on how to understand different generations. Changing how you manage early career talent can ensure they not only stay, but also add value for years to come.
Via CNBC : Millennials are now the most represented generation in the U.S. workforce, with more than a third of all workers belonging to this group.
And as Baby Boomers continue departing the office for retirement, it’s clear Gen X won’t be able to fill all the open positions they’ll leave behind, paving the way for millennial managers to grow beyond the 28 percent who currently hold managerial-level roles, according to Parade. Already another two-thirds of millennials intend to hold a leadership position within the next decade.
Millennials managers aren’t just taking on low-level management positions or only overseeing the work of other millennials. A study by Future Workplace shows that a growing number of Millennials are managing Gen X and Baby Boomer professionals, with 83 percent of workers saying they’ve seen this within their office. A survey by Upwork, a company that pairs businesses with freelancers, found that 48 percent of millennial managers are director-level or higher already.
Here are five ways these newly-minted managers are changing the workplace:
Learning rests on the employee
Millennial managers are nearly three times more likely to believe that individuals should be responsible for keeping their skills current and mastering new tools and developments within their industry as compared to Baby Boomers, of whom 90 percent believe it falls to the employer to reskill their workers, according to a survey by Upwork and Inavero, a human capital management research.
Personal values matter
A survey of 7,700 millennials conducted by Deloitte found that 64 percent of those in senior positions, such as heads of departments and above, relied on their own values and morals to guide decision making at work. Goals such as meeting their company’s profit or target revenue ranked well below, meaning millennials are generally more concerned with the social impact of a project rather than the dollars and cents.
Remote teams are the norm
Millennial managers are 28 percent more likely to hire remote workers than older leaders, according to that same Upwork survey. Almost 70 percent of younger managers allow their staff to work remotely, and of those that did so, three-fourths managed employees who spent most of their time working outside the office. Only 58 percent of Baby Boomer managers could say the same.
Freelancers will do more
Growing up in the gig economy, and, perhaps even working within it, has made younger leaders more than twice as willing as Baby Boomers to trust freelancers with ongoing or multiple projects as opposed to one-time tasks, the Upwork survey found. They were also the most likely generation of managers to have increased their usage of freelancers in the past year.
Expect more feedback
The days of annual performance reviews are gone. Sixty percent of millennials want to hear from their managers at least once a day, according to JB Training Solutions. That means millennial leaders will likely want to touch base just as often as they did when a junior staffer, adding more frequent check-ins and job assessments to their routines than previous generations did.
Via Forbes : What Do Millennials Want From An Employer, And Should You Offer It?
As the year draws to a close, many of us naturally find our thoughts veering into “year in review” territory. Did my business accomplish its goals this year? How many personal milestones did I reach? And where can we improve in the new year?
In 2019, many business leaders are sure to be focused on courting fresh talent. Whether you’re looking to expand your current roster or replace outgoing employees, you’re likely jumping into a prospect pool that’s full of millennials (with Generation Z poised on the diving board).
There was a time, not so long ago, when it seemed like a foosball table and in-house massage therapists were the tools you needed to entice younger workers. But those workers have matured and so, too, has their list of desired workplace traits and perks. In fact, the results of the 2018 Deloitte millennial survey suggest that the superficiality assigned to that generation is all but gone.
While it’s true that the top item on the millennial wish list is financial rewards or benefits, the study’s authors say that’s tied to the more important, overarching desire to work for employers who are “proactive about making a positive impact in society” and “responsive to employees’ needs.”
Fewer than half (48%) of survey respondents believe that corporations behave ethically, and only 47% said that business leaders are “committed to helping improve society.” This demonstrates a clear and very wide gap between what millennials want and what they believe they’re getting, leaving a lot of room for thoughtful employers to step in and provide what’s missing. But here’s the catch: You have to actually stand for something.
That’s a scary notion to many of us who were trained in the “professionalism means keeping a healthy distance” way of doing business. Holding personal opinions of a political or social nature has always been one thing, but expressing them in the workplace was something altogether different. And broadcasting those opinions and beliefs to the public at large from a leadership position, well, let’s just say it was hardly even considered.
But in these uncertain times, younger workers are looking to business leaders to fill in where government officials have failed or come up short. A recent NPR story points to Nike CEO Mark Parker’s decision to feature former NFL quarterback (and current target of Donald Trump’s ire) Colin Kaepernick in its ads, and the bold move on the part of Dick’s Sporting Goods CEO Ed Stack to remove assault-style weapons from his stores and refused to sell guns to anyone under 21.
Of course, not everybody agreed with their respective choices, and their businesses are feeling the effects — both negative and positive. But that’s the risk you have to be willing to take when you wade into these new waters. Consumers or clients may disagree with your stance and walk away, yet employees and prospective employees may appreciate your efforts to be an agent of change, creating a more meaningful sense of loyalty among your team.
To my mind, it all hinges on authenticity. Parker and Stack took very public stands on social-political issues because they feel genuinely passionate about those issues and understand their power to make a difference. So what’s your stand? Is there a cause or issue that you care about and want to see brought to the fore? If the answer is yes, then it’s time to raise your flag. If it’s more of a, “Hmmm … not sure,” then the next step is to do your research. Speaking out about a topic or cause you know little about, or jumping on a bandwagon to make it look like you care is a huge mistake. People of any age (millennial or not) will see through the facade and any initial gains in public perception will not be sustainable. You’ve got to mean it.
I find it encouraging to learn that millennials are looking for employers who care about the world beyond their company’s bottom line. It’s a healthy reminder of where we all need to be looking. While the reality of profitability cannot be ignored, we all have a responsibility to those who work for us, and to our fellow citizens, to use business as a force for good.