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Our new employee and consumer.

Dave Foster owner of Talkfloor Radio asked if I would talk about marketing and the new consumer, known as the Millenniums. Dave hosts a daily radio show which focuses on the floor covering industry and related topics. I’ve sent you a link to part one of the interview.

I chose to look at the group as both employees and customers.Soon enough the group called the Millenniums; ages 18-35 will comprise 36% of our workforce.  (This is a link to the Millenniums and the “oldies” working together).Consider that by the year 2020; this group will be  nearly half of our workers. As with every generation, let’s face it, they’re different. However, this group stands out from generations of the past. This group is  the most educated and culturally diverse of any generation. They are  self-motivated and have their  personal agenda. They aren’t as influenced by their elders and have “minds of their own.” This can be frightened to a generation that expects everyone to follow the rules.

Education has become more important than ever.   

According to Jeremy Kingsley, leadership expert and author of ‘Inspired People Produce Results‘, millennial workers are more likely to look for meaning and impact on their work and aren’t satisfied simply punching a clock. Helping them understand their role in a larger plan gives them a clearer sense of purpose. ”It makes them feel valued, which in turn boost’s productivity,” says Kingsley.

Businesses have always felt that a good employee above all else, is dedicated to their employee and the best way to motivate an employee is with money and other perks. However, a recent study by the Pew Research Center in 2010 found that Millenniums place a higher priority on helping people in need (21%) than having a high-paying career (15%). This means businesses must rethink their training programs and their new employees. It sounds like businesses “carrot and stick” approach may be going out the window. Maybe it’s time for businesses to examine their values.

So what is a business to do?

 

According to a 2012 survey by staffing agency Adecco Adecco, 68% of recent graduates identified good opportunities for growth and development as one of their top professional priorities. “Most in this group are hungry and want to advance,” says Kingsley. “If you do not provide development, it’s like a slap in the face.” Assigning stretch projects, bringing in speakers or sending employees to leadership conferences will be especially helpful for those millennial workers interested in learning and growing their skills.

When I was growing up, my dad wasn’t available for any of my school functions. He worked 12-14-hour  construction and came home to eat and sleep. To support his family, this was expected. The Millenniums are telling us they are willing to make sacrifices for their families.

This is a new generation with fresh expectations and concerns about our world. Businesses are always wondering what they can teach their employees. It appears; there is much to be learned from our new generation of workers and consumers. It looks like things that will make the world a better place for all of us.  

Lisbeth Calandrino has been a speaker and trainer for the past twenty years. She helps businesses build loyal relationships with their customers. She can be reached at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.

 

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