THE BLOG
08/19/2015 10:30 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

What Everybody Ought to Know About Millennials

2015-08-17-1439835960-1842969-millennials.jpgRecently I spoke with a new college graduate who was bemoaning what she described as the endless stupid paperwork HR insisted she complete her first day on the job. She said: "This is ridiculous. This company is crazy if they think I'm going to waste my time filling out useless crap all day long! I wonder if I made the right decision when I took this job?"

Haven't you scoffed at the dumb bureaucratic paperwork required throughout your career? But unlike this young lady, you've probably never seriously thought of leaving your job over it. You've just considered it, well, part of your job!

Enter the millennials. The young generation of workers you must understand if you want to hire, retain and/or sell to them. Recently-released data by the U.S. Census Bureau shows millennials (those born between 1982-2000) are now the largest segment of the population, surpassing the baby boomers. They represent more than a quarter of the nation's population.

Who wouldn't want to capture this consumer and talent pool? Quite honestly, you will have no choice unless you want to be on the fast track to going out of business.

Here's a list of what you need to know about millennials if you want to build a relationship with them.

  • Millennials are well educated, tech savvy, and incredibly self-confident -- how could they not be? They've been told since the day they were born how special they are.
  • Millennials can multi-task in ways that would leave previous generations exhausted, dazed and confused. Yes, they can do many more than one thing at a time. Do not try to tell them otherwise.
  • Team work and collaboration have replaced individualism and competition for this generation. They will expect a working culture that promotes these qualities.
  • Millennials have high expectations of themselves and will actively seek out challenges. They will cringe - and resist - having a dogmatic, climb your way up the corporate ladder mentality.
  • More than half of the millennials are committed to making the world a better place. Over 70 percent of millennials are passionate about giving back, paying it forward, social justice etc. They will definitely care if your product, service and company are in synch with their commitment of doing well by doing good.
  • Millennials take work-life balance, integration reconciliation - whatever you want to call it - seriously. They saw their parents work like dogs - only to get laid off through no fault of their own - and refuse to buy into that work ethic. They don't live to work; they work to live. This is non-negotiable.
  • Millennials want consistent feedback on their performance - and they want it now! The traditional annual review is too long for this generation to wait. Remember, they grew up having instant access to all sorts of information via a Google search. They will expect no less from their work environment.

You will be rewarded in spades if you can connect with this diverse talented tech-savvy generation - but you must do it on their terms!

Can you imagine how your business will transform and your revenues increase if you can develop a healthy relationship with millennials?