The buzz about millennials in the workplace leaves me scratching my head. I listen to executives gripe about the new generation with the same breath they’re begging for millennial cooperation. Understanding the demographic is apparently frustrating, but I ensure you that it’s not impossible.
First, let’s not commit stereotype suicide. Certain generalizations can be made to make your brand more appealing to millennials from a consumer and an employee standpoint. However, no net can be cast over us all. We are as diverse in our culture as we are in thought. Some commonalities we tend to share include a flexible and adaptive workplace. You don’t have to be Google to offer a modified environment to conform to our preferences. Also, we are individuals. We want to be able to be ourselves without restrictions. Find a way to capitalize on what we tend to be partial to rather than fighting against it.
Second, you must be willing to change. I know…your brand grew to success with these tried and true techniques. Want to know a millennial secret? We don’t give a shit how it was always done! This is the moment, right here and now, that we are going to make a judgement about. As employees, it doesn’t matter if every new hire since the brand’s inception has been satisfied with the pay structure and benefits.
Third, we are paying attention. The revolution that has shaped millennial’s mindsets revolves around the internet’s rapid spread of information. We are in tune with our surroundings on a level that it hard for Gen X’ers to comprehend. Brands can’t hide behind corporate policies and human relations. We are a generation of information and we are finding brands that embody what we desire and those who make excuses for why they don’t.
Millennials are the present and future consumers that have brands drooling. To get this generation’s attention, you must behave in line with our values. Actions must be taken to move your brand into millennial sights. Go out and talk to them to get a feel for their wants and needs. Understand the way we think. Without that understanding and willingness to change, your brand will be about to enter its’ sunset phase.