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How to Build Your Business with Millennials

Now that Millennials make up 36% of employees worldwide, most executives and business owners have made a priority of meeting their needs and aligning their success with the company’s. Fortunately, doing that for Millennials succeeds in doing it for most all employees. That’s because, as a group, they entered the workforce over the course of the recession, which for them was a formative experience. But since they shared it with everyone else, the lessons they learned, and the desires they pursue as a response to it, apply to a much broader demographic.

Millennials bring a willingness and intensity to their employers that needs to be engaged immediately and handled properly. They require a deeper understanding of their company than previous generations did, and they want their role thoroughly mapped to their company’s success. They expect to work for an agile employer who makes the best use of the skills they have and gives them the opportunity to develop new ones as the market and the economy continues to evolve. They expect their employer to judge them based upon measured results, and they expect opportunities for advancement to come quickly and for promotions to be based upon merit alone. Employers still evaluating people on time-and-attendance and promoting them according to their seniority simply can’t compete.

Over the course of their lives, Millennials have witnessed technology developing more rapidly than it ever has in all of human history. To them, this is normal, and so they have no expectation that their job, their company, or even the part of the economy where they competewill remain the same for very long. Worldwide, Price Waterhouse Cooper found that three out of four business leaders can’t find people who have the skills they need. To a Millennial, that looks like opportunity, and employers who focus on finding great people and then supporting their development will solve that problem most effectively. “It’s easy to lose sight of the value of people in a digital world,” they write. “The real winners [will be] those that use the technology they have to get the best out of their people.”

In the United States, the average 29-year-old employee has already had seven jobs. Most executives cringe at that statistic, because they know how expensive it is to obtain, train, and then lose an employee. To them, all of that Millennial churn represents an enormous cost to the employers that person cycled through. The solution comes down to management. It’s constructive to think of each of those jobs as a career development stepping-stone for the employee. Employers that actively encourage career development within their companies stand to retain the best people and to create a culture where they can flourish.

“CEOs need to be sure that their business is fit to react quickly to whatever the future may throw at it – and that means filling it with adaptable, creative people, working in a culture where energy fizzes and ideas spark into life,” PWC concluded. “If they can’t be found, they must be created.”

Aligning a Millennial’s ambitions with your strategic goals puts you in the position to create great employees. That alignment lets you harness their energy, their willingness to contribute, and their commitment to personal development. If you accomplish this for a Millennial, then you accomplish it for employees of all ages. 

Doing it comes down to four fundamental methods. Find out what they are in our latest publication, the Millennial Manual.

Image by Aidan Meyer