Also known as the Millennial Generation, today’s college graduates are challenging the existing infrastructure of the business world by pushing for positive global change. Forward thinking companies are shifting gears to accommodate a workforce that believes in balance, social responsibility and meaningful contribution.
1. Social Responsibility
Millennials differ from previous generations by displaying a constant state of connection. Exposed to the World Wide Web from a young age, these young adults have spent a majority of their lives as part of a global community. Young adults who have embraced a global identity are more sensitive to the effects of global climate change, resource depletion and humanitarian crises. A constant exposure to information makes it difficult for Millennials to ignore the struggles and challenges of humanity, making social responsibility a rising concern among the group.
Engagement Technique: Millennial employees will find purpose and unity in local and global charity initiatives. Help young workers contribute to society by organizing company-wide initiatives that allow all generations to band together by donating time, talent and energy to meaningful causes.
The development of UN standards for natural capital and human capital have developed a new world-wide standard among the economies of the developed world; and many major corporations are moving in sync with this trend to accommodate the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit in order to satisfy new levels of responsibility and standards. This new value system is also a new measure for success and integrates ecological and social benefits as operating guidelines.
Engagement Technique: Share and celebrate any new policies, practices or procedures that contribute to a triple bottom line. Something as simple as an office-wide recycling initiative can represent a commitment to ecological conservation. Companies can use crowd-sourcing among workers for ideas and concerns in regard to advancing operations that are socially and ecologically responsible.
2. Work-Life Balance
Younger workers expect employers to value and support healthy lifestyles. Top-ranked milestones for Millennials are marriage, career and family; and in a tough job market, young workers are already encountering the challenge of balancing budgets and health insurance costs. Millennials understand that a secure job is more than a paycheck; it’s an environment that promotes growth and sustainability. A job that leads to (or demands) unhealthy behavior is unsustainable and undesirable.
Engagement Technique: Employers can most easily reflect the values of work-life balance by offering benefits such as flexible hours; affordable and extensive health coverage; as well as adequate sick and vacation time. Ergonomic office environments that promote breaks and open discussions are also preferred by Millennials.
In the Millennial value system, paychecks also take a backseat to purpose. More than advancement or financial success, the Millennial wants to contribute to a meaningful goal. Transparent goals and initiatives are necessary in order to engage Millennials. Making an impact on the world (or market) is more important to a millennial than achieving a hollow goal. Advancing a level of transparency allows employees to access the “big picture” and to anticipate evidence of a result.
Engagement Technique: Ensure that each Millennial worker has access to departmental goals and that each individual understands his purpose. Give your young workers a goal that excites and engages them through completion and beyond.
Companies can also expect to receive pressure from the Millennial generation to release data that measures social and ecological impact. This is especially relevant to large, international corporations that impact natural resources and labor standards of foreign and developing nations. Smaller companies can expect to receive pressure from Millennial employees in regard to supporting local vendors and cutting emissions.
Technique: Be honest about opportunities for improvement in all three areas of people, planet and profit. Crowd-source suggestions and promote research data that supports your commitment to the triple bottom line. Don’t give your workforce a reason to mistrust you.
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Lauren Baileyis a freelance blogger for bestcollegesonline.com. She loves writing about education and health. As an education writer, she works to provide helpful information on the best online colleges and courses. She welcomes comments and questions via email at blauren 99 @gmail.com.
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