Millennials are an increasingly critical segment of the workforce, but many business leaders continued to be baffled by them, asking loaded questions like:
- Why do they think they deserve everything?
- What can we possibly do to recruit and retain employees who aren’t interested in sticking around?
In my experience building several high-growth technology companies, I’ve learned these questions don’t even begin to accurately reflect how millennials think or what they want from their employers. In fact, many business leaders (including me) still get a lot of things wrong about millennials. Developing a better understanding of this generation of young employees will help you attract and engage them at your company.
Here’s what you need to know.
Drop the Assumption About ‘Entitlement’
It’s true that growing up, millennials were often told they were the best and brightest — but this didn’t teach them to assume they deserved everything. It simply gave them a desire for frequent feedback to help them stay on track. Unfortunately, most companies aren’t equipped to ask for or handle feedback so rapidly. We went so far as to build a real-time feedback portal for our teams to leave instant feedback for their managers and vice versa. The truth is, millennials want to excel at work, and they want to be told how they’re doing so they can course-correct as needed. You should interpret that trait as responsiveness, not entitlement.
Some employers may also see millennials’ desire for professional development, challenges and growth opportunities as entitlement. Instead, view that desire as a sign that these employees are ready to jump into their work and make a difference in the organization. If your company isn’t ready or equipped to listen to, engage with and respond to millennials’ career goals, then you should hire somebody else.
Chris Ostoich is co-founder and marketing leader at LISNR, a TechStars company. He leads the marketing function for one of the hottest companies in the IoT space that intends to disrupt the mobile industry with a new communication protocol that is the most efficient way to connect any device with a speaker or microphone.
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