Jacqueline E Stevens, Generation Y
Fordham University, B.A. Philosophy, 2010
It seems necessary to start this blog post with emojis. Actually, there should be an emoji keyboard for desktops. The millennial generation has ushered in new industries, modes of marketing and now an actual alphabet. This is an example of why businesses need to evolve with the current generational shift or face irrelevance.
Sounds dramatic? Let’s look at the numbers. 2015 is the first year where those born between 1981-1996 make up the majority of the workplace. With more cash-flow, millennials are also The Modern Consumer and ought to be considered your target audience in marketing campaigns.
How does this translate within an HR department? The obvious answer: an employer’s structure must adjust, not the pool of applicants. Yes, you can still maintain high standards of productivity and recruitment while adjusting. In fact, a recent survey from Great Place To Work found that Millennial companies score 14%-20% higher in innovation than others.
The freelance nature of events has become more attractive to millennials, who are victims of the economic crash in 2008. This generation often equates traditional business models to Wall Street corruption. Those who graduated with their liberal arts degrees from expensive private universities found themselves in positions where jobs were not available. How does an employer encourage productivity from this jaded generation?
Studies repeatedly show that mentorship is crucial in productivity. On our events, we call our mentees “Point People”. A point person is a team lead that holds higher rank on an event; it is a managerial assignment given to a freelance agent, with potential for growth in a company. We cultivate individuals from our roster of freelancers and develop their leadership skills, whether or not they have had formal training prior to working for us.
Sharing responsibility in a company’s development is crucial to your millennial team and has a direct relationship with your profit margin. Utilize your millennial workforce as the embodiment of the future and see the benefit within your profit margin. Or, force old business models on your team and they probably won't stick around long enough to adapt (and we will hire them).