Engaging millennials in the workplace

The common stereotype of a millennial is that we “are entitled, impatient, lazy and self-indulgent” yet there’s a positive side that’s often overlooked, we are searching for purpose and looking for opportunity.

Casualisation of the work force, underemployment, stresses of owning a house, car and ensuring your social media is ten times better than reality all contribute to millennials seeking a rewarding life.

I am a small business owner, currently work two part time jobs, developing a social enterprise and am active in a variety of social causes. As part of the generation born between 1980 and 2000, I am a said millennial.

Why should you care?

Millennials have grown up with a major digital disruption, i.e. the web, social media and smartphones, making us highly adaptive to change. How we do business is different. Our attitudes to the workplace are different and we are hungrier for opportunities more than ever. A 2011 PricewaterhouseCoopers study says by 2020, millennials will form 50 per cent of the global workforce. 

When you don’t engage millennials, you won’t be attracting this demographic to work with you, you run the risk of a high staff turnover and, given this is focused in a regional context, regionally based companies compete with more attractive career and social offerings based in the big smoke. Therefore, our local economy is disadvantaged. 

Three easy items you can apply today:

  1. Let play happen. Play fosters creativity, enthusiasm, innovation, reduces stress and provides a sense of purpose. You don’t have to deck your office out like Google, but what you can do is more cost effective. It’s called the ‘FISH philosophy’. This is all about role modelling the attitude you want your workers to live and breathe, from the top down.
  2. Social Networking – the Old School way. Face-to-face networking is essential for social and emotional intelligence and is critical for everyone from the work experience teen to the most senior staff member.
  3. Career Progression – What can we gain from working with you? It’s not just about the dollars. If a pathway isn’t clear we are likely to assume that the grass is greener elsewhere. If the next step above or to the left in the chain of command is a little blurry, ensure that training and development are a part of your workplace culture. Outside of professional courses there are meetups, mentors, internships and skill sharing sessions.

Jenny Bevis Events and Entertainment. Jenny is a member of the Albury Northside Chamber of Commerce.

WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?: Millennials are smart, adaptable and hungry to work, learn and grow. By 2020, they will make up half of the global workforce so it's time to learn about the way they do business.

WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?: Millennials are smart, adaptable and hungry to work, learn and grow. By 2020, they will make up half of the global workforce so it's time to learn about the way they do business.

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