June 3rd, 2014 by Michael Smalls
This is the second in a series of five posts about managing and motivating Millennials.
The Millennial generation is a walking contradiction in many ways. Various studies show them to be simultaneously jaded and optimistic. They want to be well-compensated, but they don’t want their jobs to be just about making money. They are willing to work, but on their terms.
Millennials reject the “greed is good” concept celebrated in movies like “The Wolf of Wall Street”. Instead, they prefer to have meaningful jobs that provide opportunities to effect positive change in their communities and the world at large. According to a study by Callingbrands.com, employees feel 64 percent more loyal to companies that aim to do more than just earn a profit.
A study by The Intelligence Group reports that 64 percent of Millennials would rather earn $40,000 a year at a job they love than $100,000 a year at a job they find unfulfilling. The Intelligence Group’s Jamie Gutfreund studies generational trends and differences. She says, “Millennials were raised with a different perspective.” They need to see how the companies they work for are making the world a better place, and how they can contribute to those efforts.
Key #2 to Managing and Motivating Millennial Employees: Show Them the Higher Purpose
As a manager, you need to reinforce your company’s mission and emphasize the ways in which your staff can make a positive impact on the world. You need to show your employees–particularly the Millennials–how their specific jobs can help accomplish this. Barry Salzberg, global CEO of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, writes in his Forbes.com article, “We need to do more to connect the dots for Millennials, showing them the deeper global dynamics of the business enterprise.”
Which of society’s challenges is your business helping to solve? For example:
- If your customers are in the health care industry, how does your company help them do a better job? How many more patients can they serve because they do business with you?
- Maybe your business is helping to decrease the unemployment rate. Has your company created jobs in a new market?
- How is your company contributing to social causes and nonprofits? Do you have a donation or volunteer program in place?
It’s not necessary that your company cure cancer or end world hunger. But, think about how you’re helping those customers that are more directly serving people’s needs.