Crucial differences and similarities
“Human behavior doesn’t change that much over time, but outside influences can shape a generation,” Turmail said.
According to Patricia Buckley, managing director for economics at Deloitte, the goal of the study was to learn more
about what drives millennials.
“You hear so many things that millennials think this, do that,
have no loyalty to employers, aren’t car buyers and so forth,” she
said. “We wanted to look at how this generation was actually
behaving as compared to young people in prior generations.”
Buckley, with Peter Viechnicki and Akrur Barua, wrote
Deloitte’s management study on millennials. The study identifies two events that differentiate this generation.
“We explored how much the Great Recession and high
debt from college shaped this generation,” Buckley said. “For
example, home ownership is down across all age groups due
to the Great Recession and the busting of the housing bubble.
It’s made everyone reconsider the value of home ownership
[though millennials’ home ownership rates fell sharpest]. For
millennials that live with their parents, it’s likely they will do
so until they feel more economically confident.”
Turmail agrees with Deloitte’s suggestion of a “customer
segmentation” approach when working with millennials.
“You can’t treat them as one, humongous group,” he said.
“One key is recognizing the value this generation places in a
life/work balance. Their interests beyond work could provide
you opportunities to further engage them and individualize their
skills in the workplace. For example, someone may be a great
project manager and have a side interest at home in film and
video. Tap that skill by asking them to video document a project.”
An emphasis on productivity is part and parcel in today’s
workplace, and millennials can easily contribute.
“I think the biggest differentiator for this generation is how
it’s mastered different communication and information tools,”
Turmail said. “They are well-versed in how today’s technology
works and its mobility. They do think about how you get infor-
mation and get it quickly. Those employees that seem to have
a marketing interest could really be helpful in the use of social
media campaigns and other business development.”
A thirst for learning
“Employers need to figure out how to accommodate, how to
plan, how to train a workforce who values education and ongo-
ing learning,” Buckley said. “How do you engender flexibility
yet achieve an end-goal of increased productivity? There’s a real
need to find new ways to manage. One thing that surprised me
in our 2016 Global Millennial Survey was the finding that 71
percent of those likely to leave their current employment in the
next two years were unhappy with how their leadership skills
were being developed. They want to know management cares
about their future.”
The report discovered loyalty is shown to an employer that
can offer ample support and training to those wishing to take
on leadership responsibility and leader positions.
Retention through engagement
“The behavior of millennials is more subtle than headlines might
suggest,” Buckley said. “The Fed conducts a consumer finances
survey every three years. People owning cars has bounced back,
which counters the often-voiced stat that millennials are not car
buyers. So a change as the economy has improved. I’m reading
reports where home buying is on the rise for this generation, as
well. Once they get out of their parents’ basement, so to speak,
they are ready to participate more freely in the economy. We are
seeing less job change, too.”
Turmail suggested work expectations and opportunities
should be understood from both the employee and employer
perspectives. He described millennials as having a vested inter-
est in the work they perform. They are drawn to a culture of
innovation and are eager to make a difference.
> FOCUS THE MILLENNIAL DIFFERENCE
Millennial workers demonstrate a vested interest in the jobs they perform
and want a role where they feel like they are making a difference.
Continued from page 44
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