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Millennial Engagement, Innovation and Creativity at Work

Almost a year ago, I started CoachingMillennials with two Millennials — my son, Nick, and Georgia Howe, whose father Neil Howe I had the privilege to work with and has done significant research and writing on generations. We continue to research, write and speak about Millennials in the workplace, Millennial issues and more.

This year, we want to tell stories of Millennials who are creative, driven and innovative. To do that, we’re asking to be connected to the hardest working, most inspiring (and inspirational) Millennials you know.

Let me know where you see inspired, motivated Millennials in your workplace, company or organization. Please email me at warren@coachingmillennials.com with your suggestions and connections.

While Millennials aren’t necessarily digital addicts, they are digital natives and are used to both taking in and presenting information in multimedia. We plan to use video, social media platforms and more to let Millennials tell their own stories about engagement, innovation, and creativity at work.

Narrative is an ancient and powerful medium. It inspires and transforms. It plants seeds of innovation and change. A vast majority of workplaces fail to reach their potential. But some do — and we want to go in-depth on how Millennials are helping. What are their stories? How did they do it?

We look forward to finding out from Millennials themselves and sharing with you this year.

Warren

5 Things Millennials are Thankful For

Being a Millennial isn’t easy.

More so than other generations, members of the Millennial generation are dealing with crushing levels of student debt. Forbes reported that 57 percent of Millennials “regret how much they borrowed” for education, and now it’s delaying Millennials’ ability to buy a home, get married or do other things they want to do.

Yet for all the education they have, their job prospects are perpetually uncertain. More than half of Millennials report being “underemployed,” according to an Accenture survey. Many Millennials are turning to “gig economy” jobs – cobbling together a series of part-time or contract jobs to make ends meet. It’s rare for these jobs to come with benefits for retirement savings or health insurance, which puts more even financial pressure on young professionals.

What keeps Millennials awake at night? Retirement, job security and debt, mostly, according to a study by Charles Schwab & Co.

But in honor of the Thanksgiving holiday, we would like to recognize that Millennials have much to be thankful for. Here are five of them:

Flexibility at Work

While gig economy jobs may not be ideal in some ways, they do afford Millennials a significant amount of flexibility. Millennials like the way being a full-time freelancer or contractor gives them freedom and independence, career development and learning opportunities they believe a more “traditional” 9-to-5 job wouldn’t.

Even within “traditional” jobs, employers are embracing the notion of a more flexible work schedule. Fully half of the U.S. workforce has a job that is compatible with at least some teleworking, according to Global Workplace Analytics.

Technology plays an important role in this dynamic. Thanks to near-ubiquitous wi-fi, the adoption of tablets, newer workplace communication tools like Asana and Slack and the proliferation of co-working spaces, being productive outside the office is entirely possible.

Technology

Thanks, technology! There’s no doubt Millennials have incorporated digital technology into many, many facets of their life. From driving directions to working remotely to staying in touch with friends and family, Millennials are definitely digital natives.

But don’t get confused – being a digital native does not make Millennials digital addicts. While they appreciate what technology allows them to do, they say it does not replace in-person conversations, particularly in the workplace.

Social Awareness

Millennials are the most socially aware generation to date. They put a priority on social responsibility in many areas of their life. When shopping, they are more willing to pay more for sustainable products and services, according to a Neilsen global study.

Companies are paying attention to this trend in the products and services they offer, and in their commitment to the community. More than 90 percent of Millennials want to work for socially responsible companies. And a Deloitte survey showed 70 percent of Millennials “listed their company’s commitment to the community as an influence on their decision to work there.”

Whether a company is seeking Millennials’ dollars or talent, corporate social responsibility is key and a trend Millennials are thankful for.

Understanding and Involved Parents

Financial stress from student loans and job uncertainty means a lot of Millennials are trying to save money on housing by moving back home with Mom and Dad. Some Millennials are using the money they save on rent to pay back student loans faster so they can move on with their adult lives.

Thank goodness for understanding parents! While there haven’t been many studies about how the parents actually feel about this, more than one-third of college seniors in 2016 planned to live at home for at least a year after graduation, according to the job website Indeed. Millennials grew up with parents who were highly involved in their children’s emotional and educational development and activities.

For employers who are looking to hire recent graduates, it’s likely that prospective Millennial hires’ parents are heavily involved in this process. That may mean answering questions from parents, inviting parents into the office and even reassuring parents that your company has their child’s best professional interests in mind.

Optimism and Drive

Millennials were raised with the belief that they could do anything and be anyone when they grew up. Witnessing the United States’ first black president and the first woman at the top of a major party ticket, as well as seeing Millennial successes like Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg, Millennials are ambitious, passionate – and optimistic.

Almost half (49 percent) of Millennials say the country’s best years are ahead of them, but just 42 percent of Generation X members and 44 percent of Baby Boomers say the same, according to Pew Research Center.

That sense of optimism will serve them well both personally and professionally. Optimism has been cited as the single most critical characteristic of successful entrepreneurs. Their optimism may also make them healthier in the long-term, as studies have shown a positive mental outlook has a good affect on cardiovascular health.

For those who are hiring Millennials in the new year, keeping in mind these five things that Millennials appreciate — flexibility, technology, social awareness, involved parents and optimism — will help with successful recruitment, hiring and long-term retention. Millennials will be thankful for managers who coach them, keep their professional goals in mind and allow Millennials the opportunity to be themselves.

zuckerberg

3 Notable Traits of Millennials

Special, sheltered and confident — those three characteristics are among the major traits of Millennials.

Every generation has its own personality—attitudes, behaviors and traits that are shaped by experiences in their formative years. In a generation’s youth, the prevailing cultural, social, and economic environment creates a permanent imprint that lasts a lifetime. This imprint creates signature traits.

For Millennials, there are generally seven of these traits – three of which we’ll address here: special, sheltered and confident. (Watch for next week’s blog post for the other four.)

Special

Members of the Millennial generation were raised believing they are special and important by their parents who kept a close, watchful eye on them.

In addition, Millennials are used to constant or near-instantaneous feedback on their work, thanks to growing up in an era of testing, measuring and ever-faster technology. For managers, this means Millennials in the workplace want faster feedback cycles, more frequent communication on goals and an open-door policy on communication.

It also means mentorship programs are important to them and something they seek out. And companies are responding: A 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey revealed that more than two-thirds (68 percent) of Millennials who had been with their job for 5 or more years had solid mentors in the workplace.

Sheltered

Thanks in part to the 24/7 news era, the parents of Millennials were constantly reminded of the dangers of the world. In response, many Millennials grew up more “sheltered” than previous generations.

With closer relationships to their parents than earlier generations, the economic realities of post-college life for Millennials often means moving back home — back to the place where they felt special, engaged with, wanted and important.

At the workplace, managers of Millennials may take on elements of parenting by taking a more hands-on approach to working with Millennials. Millennials will appreciate managers who give them reachable, incremental goals and rewards for meeting them. Plus, managers should realize that Millennials want to work for someone who “has their back” in the workplace and collaborates with them.

Confident

While Millennials like feeling protected and affirmed, they are also quite confident. Those same parents who raised Millennials to feel special and wanted also raised them to believe they could accomplish anything they put their minds to.

Growing up in an era of self-made billionaires (Mark Zuckerberg is a Millennial), participation trophies and the election (twice) of the first black president, Millennials were raised with the attitude that they can achieve anything they put their mind to.

For managers, that means striking a delicate balance between hand-holding and granting independence and leadership opportunities. It also means trusting them to make solid decisions and manage themselves with proper guidance.

Check out the second part in this series on Millennial traits next week.

Busting Myths: Millennials are Lazy and Perpetually Late

100 million people known as Millennials are lazy and perpetually late. Values like promptness and industriousness have gone by the wayside with this generation. Civilization, as we know it is ending.

But wait, before you retreat to your fallout shelter waiting for the world to end, there is new research that proves otherwise. An increasing number of studies show Millennials are not slackers and, in fact, may have an unhealthy dedication to hard work.

Unlike previous generations, Millennials grew up in the digital age, where everything is on and available all the time. They live in a 24-hour news cycle where emails, texts, tweets and memes are calling out to them at all hours from a device that is never more than an arm’s length away — literally. A survey by Harris Poll finds that 93 percent of Millennials admit to using their phones in bed, 80 percent use their phones in the restroom and 43 percent are connected while sitting at red lights.

screen-shot-2016-09-20-at-3-41-57-pm

Part of the reason the “lazy” myth has perpetuated is due to a different way of working that Millennials embrace. Used to doing things on the go, work may include answering emails from the gym or a coffee shop. Millennials believe in working just as hard, but don’t feel the need to be anchored to a desk and show “face time” at the office – they can work anywhere.

While Millennials, like all of us, value time away from work, for many the workday does not have a traditional beginning and end. The 9-to-5 schedule only exists in theory for Millennials, 52 percent of whom believe it’s ok to check work emails during dinner compared to 22 percent of Boomers.

Further, Millennials are more likely than older workers to forfeit earned time off, even though they typically earn the fewest vacation days. According to research by GFK for Project Time Off, American workers take just 16 days of vacation per year in 2015 – down from more than 20 days per year between 1978 and 2000.

Millennials are work martyrs. They are more likely than members of other generations to want to show complete dedication. They do not want to be seen as replaceable at work, and they want to stay in consideration for that raise or promotion.

First impressions and professional reputations are particularly important to Millennial employees — even more so than older colleagues, according to research from Weber Shandwick. That research showed Millennials believe the top way to build their reputation at work is by doing a good job and being prompt. Almost half of Millennials surveyed said volunteering for or accepting extra work is a good way to improve their professional reputation.

For those who work with Millennials, understanding their desire for flexible scheduling is critical to helping them succeed and feel professionally satisfied. The majority of Millennials “believe that flexible work schedules make the workplace more productive for people their age.”

Without “face time” as an indicator of work, executives will have to adjust how they measure employee effectiveness. Millennials are keen on being given challenging but achievable goals, particularly if they come with proper support. Measuring their success, then, may include looking at their productivity, whether they are meeting goals and deadlines, how well they collaborate with co-workers, and the extent to which they contribute positively to the team or company.

Millennials’ desire for transparency and openness at work is a factor here, as well. Millennials want to work for companies where managers and executives are accessible and approachable, able to communicate effectively across platforms and follow up.

Managers may want to start getting used to text messaging their employees.

Homelander

Busting Myths: Generation Z is Taking Over the Workforce

 

Watch out — Generation Z is coming! Or so the media would have you believe.

But the reality is this so-called “Generation Z” is not yet entering the workforce, and in fact, has barely reached puberty. Most social scientists who track generations say the first born from Gen Z was born between 2002 – 2005, making the oldest 14, and the youngest…not yet born. A generation, by definition, is about 20 to 22 years in length.

Alphabet Soup: What’s in a name?

Generation Z is a “default” name given to the generation that followed “Gen Y” (more widely recognized as the Millennials), which itself was a follow-on to Generation X. But the naming of generations was never meant to be an exercise in sequencing the alphabet.

This alphabet obsession started with Generation X, or “Gen X,” (1961 – 1981) so named not as a random letter, but because of their “anti-brand” ethic. “X” as in the non-brand, an appropriate mark for a generation that was described by their elders as “wasted, slackers that will amount to nothing”. They started with punk and ended with grunge, always in black t-shirts. They are “X” through and through.

The next generation to come up was called, by many people, Generation Y — named by an unimaginative but well-meaning writer at Ad Age — the next letter of the alphabet, and the predictable sequencing continued with Generation Z.

We call them “Homelanders”

We call the cohort born after Millennials, “Homelanders.” (2002 – ?) We call them this in part because they are literally at home more than previous generations. Studies show that this generation does not go outside and play as much as previous generations, instead playing video games and doing homework, staying safe under the watchful eye of their helicopter parents. Indeed, with a brief exception to play Pokémon Go, this generation is under near-constant supervision. Check out this interview in Forbes with Neil Howe on Homelanders.

Another reason we call them Homelanders is the geopolitical mood sweeping the globe right now. From Russia to China to right here in the U.S., there is more focus than ever on keeping the homeland safe and distancing ourselves from far-flung alliances. Homelanders will be growing up during a time when we are looking more inward and less likely to welcome outsiders. This is the generation that will be coming of age in a post-Brexit global environment.

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Gen Z in the Workplace? Forget about it

Don’t believe the hype. You have plenty to worry about at work — don’t worry about this. With the oldest Homelanders barely old enough to mow the lawn, you won’t see them shaking up the workforce anytime soon. The fact is, it’s simply too early to be talking about their influence on our world in any significant way.

Most companies I talk to are still trying to master the Millennial mindset. Given that they represent over a third of the workforce, that should be the generation du jour.

what is a generation?

What is A Generation Anyways?

Hi Everyone.

This is a youtube I did over a year ago and it received lots of hits. It is a one-minute primer on generations. I hear people talking about “Generation Z” as if they are starting in the workplace. The reality is that “Generation Z” , the generation after the Millennials, was born around 2004-2005, making the oldest about 11 years old. Marketers frequently try to split a generation in two so they can sell more consulting on a “new and different” generation. Remember– a generation spans about 20-years, which is about the length of a phase of life.

Its all written in the book called Generations by Neil Howe and William Strauss. BTW– They coined the term “Millennials” way back in 1990.

If you really want to geek out on generation theory, check out this: Strauss-Howe Generational Theory in Wiki.

Bye bye for now.

Warren

 

i want you

3 Ways to Effectively Onboard Millennials

On my website, CoachingMillennnials, you can find an overview video Neil Howe and I produced called Recruiting and On-boarding Millennials. This video will get you oriented about best practices for recruiting and on-boarding Millennials, but I also wanted to point out a really comprehensive article on the same topic published just recently by Saeculum Research.  Its called “Welcoming Millennials Onboard“. It is a great article because it provides actual, actionable ideas you can use to attract Millennials. Here’s a summary:

  1. Invest in Swag. Show Millennials you care about them. This is easy, and it doesn’t cost a lot. LinkedIn welcomes employees with a swag bag of goodies that are customized to the person being hired. It’s simple swag– like include a personalized greeting card, copy of LinkedIn founder’s book, “The Start Up of You“, and a water bottle. It doesn’t need to be fancy, but ideally, should be personalized. Online care medical scheduling service provider ZocDoc invites new employees to dine out with the executive team for lunch.
  2. Offer Professional DevelopmentGeneral Electric and Caterpillar have pro­fes­sional development programs that emphasize mentorship by top executives and senior management. NYU assigns each new hire a mentor-buddy for the first two months on the job. Millennials like to gain new skills, and are much more likely to stick around if you invest in their professional development.
  3. Build Relationships Quickly. The faster a new hire bonds with his or her immediate co-workers, the more likely me or she is to stay and be a productive member of the team. As the article states, “Deloitte divides new hires into groups to play a board game that not only teaches newbies corporate policy, but also allows them to bond with their co-workers. Internet marketing company Bazaarvoice even sends new employees on a weeklong scavenger hunt to learn the ins and outs of the company. Although these practices are rather unconventional, they take advantage of Millennials’ team-oriented nature and facilitate stronger ties to the organization.”

One other key point the article makes to keep in mind when you are recruiting millennials… keep the parents involved! Boomer and Xer parents are with their Millennial kids at all the big milestone events, and their first job is no exception. And don’t think less of your Millennials because they want to involve their parents. Chances are, you have a very different relationship with your Millennial child than you did with your parents. The Army slogan is highly instructional as you think about including parents as part of your recruiting strategy: “You make them strong, we make them Army strong.”

i want you

3 Ways to Effectively Onboard Millennials

On my website, CoachingMillennnials, you can find an overview video Neil Howe and I produced called Recruiting and On-boarding Millennials. This video will get you oriented about best practices for recruiting and on-boarding Millennials, but I also wanted to point out a really comprehensive article on the same topic published just recently by Saeculum Research.  Its called “Welcoming Millennials Onboard“. It is a great article because it provides actual, actionable ideas you can use to attract Millennials. Here’s a summary:

  1. Invest in Swag. Show Millennials you care about them. This is easy, and it doesn’t cost a lot. LinkedIn welcomes employees with a swag bag of goodies that are customized to the person being hired. It’s simple swag– like include a personalized greeting card, copy of LinkedIn founder’s book, “The Start Up of You“, and a water bottle. It doesn’t need to be fancy, but ideally, should be personalized. Online care medical scheduling service provider ZocDoc invites new employees to dine out with the executive team for lunch.
  2. Offer Professional DevelopmentGeneral Electric and Caterpillar have pro­fes­sional development programs that emphasize mentorship by top executives and senior management. NYU assigns each new hire a mentor-buddy for the first two months on the job. Millennials like to gain new skills, and are much more likely to stick around if you invest in their professional development.
  3. Build Relationships Quickly. The faster a new hire bonds with his or her immediate co-workers, the more likely me or she is to stay and be a productive member of the team. As the article states, “Deloitte divides new hires into groups to play a board game that not only teaches newbies corporate policy, but also allows them to bond with their co-workers. Internet marketing company Bazaarvoice even sends new employees on a weeklong scavenger hunt to learn the ins and outs of the company. Although these practices are rather unconventional, they take advantage of Millennials’ team-oriented nature and facilitate stronger ties to the organization.”

One other key point the article makes to keep in mind when you are recruiting millennials… keep the parents involved! Boomer and Xer parents are with their Millennial kids at all the big milestone events, and their first job is no exception. And don’t think less of your Millennials because they want to involve their parents. Chances are, you have a very different relationship with your Millennial child than you did with your parents. The Army slogan is highly instructional as you think about including parents as part of your recruiting strategy: “You make them strong, we make them Army strong.”

millennial

An Embarrassing Millennial Moment for Kronos

Millennial mishap alert! I was really looking forward to reading a new research report by Kronos, a US-based multi-national workforce management software company, called, “Motivating Millennials, Managing Tomorrow’s Workforce Today”. Researching Millennials is my work, and I collect research reports like I used to collect baseball cards as a kid.

So, I’m settling in with my cup of coffee, sun streaming in through the window, my dog Wulfie sprawled on the “dog sofa”, excited to digest this research report. The very first “take-away” from the research is that “Millennials will make up 75% of the Australian workforce in 2025.” REALLY? Guys– do the math. A generation, by definition, lasts 18 to 22 years. Let’s just say 20-years. The workforce is made up of people roughly 20 to 60-years old, right? That’s a 40-year span, meaning that at a MAXIMUM, Millennials could only represent is 50%, but that’s only assuming we are counting 2 generations.

I know many of you don’t care about this, but I’m a stickler for data accuracy. I would hope Kronos would be too. I’m giving then a “D” on this report for demographic accuracy.

Oh– if you want to know how many Millennials will be in the workforce by any given year, I am including a Link to a spreadsheet we put together by looking at census estimates. Max percentage is 51% in 2034. This is for the US, but population pyramids run roughly parallel between Australia and the US.

Bravo, Kronos, for recognizing that Mentorship programs should be a core part on Millennial’s development– (see our take on Mentorship), but its better if you stick with your core competency– software development.

Percent of Millennials in the workforce.xlsx

millennial

An Embarrassing Millennial Moment for Kronos

Millennial mishap alert! I was really looking forward to reading a new research report by Kronos, a US-based multi-national workforce management software company, called, “Motivating Millennials, Managing Tomorrow’s Workforce Today”. Researching Millennials is my work, and I collect research reports like I used to collect baseball cards as a kid.

So, I’m settling in with my cup of coffee, sun streaming in through the window, my dog Wulfie sprawled on the “dog sofa”, excited to digest this research report. The very first “take-away” from the research is that “Millennials will make up 75% of the Australian workforce in 2025.” REALLY? Guys– do the math. A generation, by definition, lasts 18 to 22 years. Let’s just say 20-years. The workforce is made up of people roughly 20 to 60-years old, right? That’s a 40-year span, meaning that at a MAXIMUM, Millennials could only represent is 50%, but that’s only assuming we are counting 2 generations.

I know many of you don’t care about this, but I’m a stickler for data accuracy. I would hope Kronos would be too. I’m giving then a “D” on this report for demographic accuracy.

Oh– if you want to know how many Millennials will be in the workforce by any given year, I am including a Link to a spreadsheet we put together by looking at census estimates. Max percentage is 51% in 2034. This is for the US, but population pyramids run roughly parallel between Australia and the US.

Bravo, Kronos, for recognizing that Mentorship programs should be a core part on Millennial’s development– (see our take on Mentorship), but its better if you stick with your core competency– software development.

Percent of Millennials in the workforce.xlsx

Millennial Footprint

The Millennial Footprint on Media and Entertainment

Millennial Footprint

The millennial generation will continue to leave a lasting footprint on American culture.

Every generation leaves their footprint on media and entertainment, and it looks like the Millennials’ footprint is likely to be a big one.

Last week at the ThinkLA conference in Los Angeles, I gave a Presentation on this topic. Attending were over 600 executives in the media and entertainment business. Among this group, there is a growing sense of unease about where it’s all going. Long standing business models have been disrupted overnight. In a recent research paper conducted by Ipsos for the Social Media Advertising Consortium, it was reported that 30% of Millennials’ media time (5 hours/day) is now spent with User Generated Content (UGC) created by their friends and peers. Our own research at LifeCourse confirms this. In a recent survey we conducted for twitch.tv, we found that  93% of Millennials go to social networking sites on their smart phones. This compares to 85% of GenXers and only 52% of Boomers. Conventional media like broadcast television is under enormous pressure to stem eroding market share from emerging media, and Millennials are leading this shift.

History shapes generations. Generations shape history.

To understand how Millennials  influence these new trends and discern where it is all going, we need to go back in time to the formative years of their childhood, and their coming of age experience– their own history. These early experiences shape their values and beliefs that remain enduring and unique, and can give us a glimpse into the future. Every generation is shaped by their place in history. Aristotle said that history shapes generations, and then generations shape history.

Millennials were raised during a time of increasing parental involvement. We’ve all heard stories of helicopter parents, clearing the way for their child’s success and achievement. Indeed, Millennials were raised to feel special and instilled with an ethic of achievement. Surrounded by a team of parents, teachers, coaches, and tutors, the expectation of individualized attention as well as a trusting support network allowing them to grow and achieve has always been part of the Millennials coming of age story. Role models at an early age encouraged teamwork and cooperation. Do you remember Barney the Dinosaur? I love you, you love me, we’re one big happy family… By contrast, GenXers grew up to learn to fend for themselves– it was a time of declining parental involvement. One of the iconic figures of their coming of age experience was a Muppet who lived in a garbage can– Oscar the Grouch!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4Sml5MgOcM&rel=0&w=560&h=315]

 

In my presentation, I’ve identified four shaping criteria that is now influencing, and will continue to influence the direction of entertainment and media usage:

  • Hyper-Socialization

Millennials are a connected generation, but it is more than the technology that allows them to connect. Millennials are social, and they seem to love everybody. They love their parents, they love their friends, and they love the community where they live. 82% of teenagers in 2005 (now Millennials in their late 20’s) reported “no problem at all with any family member”. This compares to 75% in 1983, and 48% in 1974. We all know that Millennials are the “friend” generation. In our 2014 LifeCourse survey, 55% of Millennials agreed with the statement, “My friends are the most important thing in my life”. This compares to 44% for GenXers and 40% of Boomers. But it is not just about being social and liking friends and family… it is about doing things together. Millennials like to work with others and collaborate in teams. In the world of video gaming, long thought of as a lonely geek activity, 72% of Millennials play video games with their friends or family members.

Perhaps the most telling event in recent media history about Millennials’ propensity for hyper-socialization and doing things together was the recent phenomenon called Twitch Plays Pokémon. Here is how it worked: An anonymous gamer from Australia developed a program on one of the world’s most popular live streaming sites for Millennials called twitch.tv. On twitch.tv, gamers input over 112 million commands to vote on how the main character should move. Together, they beat the game in 16 days. Twitch Plays Pokémon is now a regular site feature where users play assorted Pokémon titles together. Furthermore, users have also enhanced the game in ways the creator could not have anticipated, from creating memes in Photoshop to planning Pokémon battle strategies on social media.  In essence, this one game created a thriving community of its own.

  • First Life/Second Life Blend

Unlike Boomer and GenXers, who adapted to today’s technology, Millennials are digital natives. Their orientation is entirely different than older generations. They spend more time in front of a screen (10 hrs per days vs. 8 hrs for Xers and 7 hrs for Boomers), and they are the first generation that feels as much ‘at home’ with their second life on the internet as their first life (their actual real life). IRL is a common acronym going around today– it stands for In Real Life, as opposed to “life” on the internet. The fact that Millennials need to distinguish between the two suggests that there would otherwise be confusion for which is which. This is a remarkable paradigm shift that can’t be overstated. Indeed, in the LifeCourse survey for twitch, 52% of Millennials think that life is like a video game. Millennials quite simply trust technology. It was there with them in their crib, and has always been a dependable partner, so no wonder Millennials gravitate toward this second life of technology.

All of this means that as far as media and entertainment preferences, Millennials are likely to get deeper into interactive media– spend more time and become more engaged on the internet and in their second life, and of course, bringing their friends and family with them.

  • The Maker Movement

Like many new movements in the last few years, this one started with geeks in their basements. The whole maker culture represents learning by doing in a social environment. The maker movement is networked, informal, peer-led, and motivated by fun, learning, and achievement. This is quintessential Millennial! We know that Millennials are highly networked to their peers, and we also know that the notion of achievement is very important to them. Schools have increasingly been focused on achievement standards, and Millennials are on track to becoming the best educated generation in U.S. history. Good performance is a source of pride and social capital for Millennials, and the maker culture encourages both.

The rise in Millennials time spend with User Generated Content (UGC) is up to 30%. This is content that is created by their friends and peers. Earlier this year, Disney purchased Maker Studios for a deal worth about $900 million. Microsoft introduced Project Spark to the gaming community, and program that allows players to create their own characters, plot lines, settings, etc. All of these events point to a Maker Movement and this has “Millennial” written all over it.

As to the implications of Maker Movement on Media and Entertainment, expect more Millennials to be using today’s technology tools to advance their education and the their avocation. I predict that the entertainment industry will reshape the education business in America and throughout the world. After all, entertainers know how to grab your attention and keep you engaged.

  • The Barney Effect

The purple dinosaur that millions of Millennials watched as children encouraged teamwork, cooperation, respect, and fairness. Whether it is support for same sex marriage, or support to reduce the income gap, Millennials’ values of equity, respect and fairness were forged in their early years. Millennials are the first generation since the GI’s (pre-WW II) to value a middle class. 72% of Millennials believe the government should work hard to reduce the income gap between the rich and the poor, according to a 2014 CNN poll.

Along with this fairness and equity ethic comes Millennials’ embrace for brands that have a socially conscious element to it. Millennials scored higher than GenXers of Boomers when agreeing with the two statement “having a positive impact on society is important to me” and “It is important to me companies I buy products from support social causes.”

This notion of equity and fairness extends to expectations Millennials have on their participation in how products and brands are developed. This is often accomplished through crowdsourcing, which is second nature to Millennials. Ben and Jerry’s was one of the first companies to crowdsource flavors. According to the LifeCourse publication Social Intelligence, “Millennials expect brands to listen to their feedback and engage in two-way, interactive conversation with them.” Wasn’t it Barney who originally taught them to participate and share?

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqfJ1_zjEjA]

The Three Key Words for the Footprint: Participate, Create, and Share

Those that are paying attention to the footprint are finding ways for Millennials to participate, create, and share in their media experience: Participate because Millennials feel that it is important to have their voice heard in the decisions being made, whether it is an ice cream flavor, or privacy policy on Facebook. Create because Millennials are leading the original Maker culture with an active and engaged mindset to learn, build, and achieve. And finally, Share, because Millennials value open transparency and dialogue, and advocate a crowdsourcing mentality. Follow the Participate-Create-Share mantra and watch your audience grow.

-Warren Wright
@MillennialCoach

http://www.CoachingMillennials.com

Top four reasons that Millennials are leaving their “dream jobs”

Millennials Dream Job

60% of Millennials leave their jobs within a 3-year period

Warren Wright is Executive Vice President of LifeCourse Associates, a publishing, speaking, and consulting company built on the generational discoveries of Neil Howe and William Strauss. Warren has spent over twenty-five years in leadership roles at companies that use behavioral sciences, statistics, organizational development, change management, and media to help their clients.

Last week I came across a study that said 60% of Millennials leave their jobs within a 3-year period. This was part of the much publicized Millennial Branding Report that was released in August. Among the findings, 51% of companies report that the cost of training and development is highest when hiring Millennials. This is obvious, as on-boarding costs for new talent requires far more resources and development. 56% of employers revealed that it takes 3 to 7 weeks to hire a fully productive Millennial into a new role. This statistic is a little concerning, as it seems the expectations of companies is too high in terms of getting new employees up to speed on a role. Well managed companies with typically invest several months, not weeks in on-boarding and development.

  • 60% of Millennials leave their jobs within a 3-year period
  • 51% of companies report that the cost of training and development is highest when hiring Millennials
  • 56% of employers revealed that it takes 3 to 7 weeks to hire a fully productive Millennial into a new role

The top four reasons that Millennials are leaving their “dream jobs” might be less about Millennials and more about their managers. When I worked at Gallup, our consulting mantra revolved around the notion that your manager is responsible for 85% of your experience with the company you work for– they can make you or break you. It turns out that the reason for high Millennial turnover is bad management. Listed below are four reasons Millennials say they are leaving their dream job, and each one of thee reasons has to do the difference between good management practices and bad management practices:

#1: “No one is asking for my feedback”

Clue: If your Millennial isn’t happy, find out why. This is management 101. Frequent check-ins are critical especially early on ones career, and especially for Millennials, who are known as the “Feedback generation”.

#2. “I wasn’t clear about opportunities for advancement”

Clue: Provide clear opportunities for advancement (in excruciating detail). Millennials like to see a clear path for advancement, and it does not have to be straight up the ladder… it can be different responsibilities at the same level. The important thing is that the path is clear and someone is guiding them along the way.

#3. “The job was advertised as one thing, but it turned out to be something else”

Clue: Never inflate or misrepresent a role. Be completely honest about job expectations. Recruiters in HR try to put their best foot forward, but sometimes, if the job seems to be too good to be true, it probably is. Always temper job expectations with reality about the job.

#4. “It seemed like no one cared about me”

Clue: Show that you care. This is a big one. Remember, Millennials grew up with an entire team that was looking out for their well-being: parents, teachers, coaches, doctors, etc. Transitioning into the workplace  can be an entirely different environment than their life experience up until their first job. Frequent check-ins, feedback sessions, praise for good work, and constructive criticism for missing the mark– these are all important elements to successfully managing Millennials.

In summary, many of the reasons Millennials are leaving their jobs is directly related to the quality of the manager to foster high levels of productivity of the employees he or she manages. Millennials seem to be forcing the bigger issue of demanding better management overall. As they say, a rising tide raises all ships– better management not only helps Millennial employees, but all employees.

-Warren Wright
@MillennialCoach

http://www.CoachingMillennials.com