by RDBA Contributing Editor Amanda Rubizhevsky, MPH, NC
They are the nearly 80 million young adults born between 1976 and 2001 (BLS) who are preparing to join or have already joined the workforce – this is the Millennial generation. They are vocal and passionate about inequities; which can be a great thing for your company if you are ready. By 2020, nearly half (46 percent) of all US workers will be Millennials. So how can you cater to and harness the strengths of this uniquely passionate generation?
As a retail dietitian it’s likely that you will have millennial colleagues, customers and you might be a millennial yourself. Here’s some insight from a recent report titled Millennial Women by the International Consortium for Executive Development Research (ICEDR) as well as research from the US Chamber of Commerce - to help you and your team cater to this exceptional generation.
They desire a sense of purpose and care about their company’s values and vision. The ICEDR study found that when asked "How important is it to you that your organization inspires you with purpose?” nearly 95 percent responded "Important.” Organizations that do not prioritize values and purpose risk losing the passion of their employees — who care about working within an environment that reflects their own ethics.
Millennials want to have their ideas heard. Traditional corporate hierarchies leave the big decision making and discussions for senior executives. But millennials are looking to be a part of these discussions. Approximately 80 percent of women surveyed by ICEDR stated their desire to have a voice and be heard. Why is this so? Millennials have grown up co-creating experiences, so they have that expectation when they enter the workplace as well. Your organization might not be set up to let millennials make big decisions, but find ways to delegate and let this group have a more autonomous role.
They value flexibility. The US Chamber of Commerce report found that work-life balance ranked high for what motivates Millennial employees. Approximately 75 percent of respondents said that work-life balance was the key thing they looked for when planning their career.
They care about compensation. Millennial men and women want to be compensated appropriately. The ICEDR study found that Millennial women like men identified a higher-paying job as the primary reason they would leave their organization. Furthermore they value fairness in pay and fairness in relation to work effort. "There is not a fair balance between how hard I work and the compensation I receive" was ranked as one of the top four reasons why women 5 to 10 years out of university would leave their organization.
Millennials expectations of work and their careers are vastly different than previous generations. It’s clear that the talent landscape is changing as millennials become a larger proportion of the workforce, and their preferences and values affect the broader talent pool. Your organization might be ready to cater to the needs and desires of millennials, but if it’s not, think of ways to create projects, brainstorm sessions, and flexibility in the workplace to attract top millennial talent. Adapt to this shift ahead of time rather than wait for change to hit.