What we mean, loosely, is those born in the 1980s and 1990s. This means Millennials of today are well and truly established in the workforce, and they are redefining the job market according to a new set of priorities. Recent studies suggest that over 90% of Millennials will stay in a job for less than 3 years. This presents a major challenge for modern business owners, and to navigate it, they will need to better understand the drivers of these new recruits.
We spoke to psychiatrist Dr. Bart Rossi, a professional political psychologist and commentator. Rossi is a member of the American Psychological Association, New Jersey Association for the Advancement of Psychology and New Jersey Psychological Association. He is also author of the book “The New-New American Life Style Post September 11, 2001.” According to Dr. Rossi, we should expect to see several unique personality traits among Millennials. Let’s start with a few stats:
INSIDE THE MIND OF THE MILLENNIAL WITH DR. BART ROSSI
92% Believe that business success is based on more than just profit
80% Prefer on the spot recognition over formal reviews
60% Feel personally motivated to make a difference in the world
50%Aspire to owning their own business or already do.
Generally speaking, Rossi says, “They are non-biased individuals, who like to work with a very open mind. They reject people who exhibit closed mindedness or prejudice. They will adopt a mix of progressive and conservative views that help them to think outside the box.” Whereas members of Gen X tend to hold personal beliefs and values over a long period of time, Millennials adopt a more fluid value system and set of beliefs. They also shy away from negativity; if you want to communicate effectively with a Millennial you will have to demonstrate openness, positivity and flexible thinking. Most Millennials can’t remember a time before the internet and cell phones. They won’t join, network, learn or engage like members of previous generations. They are heavily reliant on the internet for everything, from research to consuming to socializing and communication. Interestingly, Millennials will tend to remain detached from institutions, but closely networked with friends, so how can businesses and business owners motivate Millennials and inspire their engagement in the workplace?
Dr. Rossi suggests some ways all workplaces could benefit from the Millennial work ethic:
- Encourage open mindedness and create space to explore new ways of doing things.
- Try to be optimistic and eliminate negativity from the office
- Plan and organize the workflow properly in order to make it more productive.
- Encourage positive and creative people, and notice how that positively effects the energy of the office.
- Give positive feedback in the moment, rather than waiting.
- Keep the focus on the value in the work, rather than on material gain.
- Keep a sense of humor and try to minimize stress.
- And maybe try to encourage the millennial to unplug a little – some exhibit great social skills if you manage to engage them in some face to face interaction!