Your morning routine consists of getting dressed, eating breakfast, commuting to work and posting a picture of yourself at your desk on Facebook using #workselfie, right? If not, you have probably seen someone do it. This is part of a much larger change in the workforce. Specifically, the record setting number of Millennials that are entering and taking over the job market.
To address this inevitable change, the Chamber hosted an informative lunch and learn session on April 14th with guest speaker Dr. Tanuja Singh, Dean of the Greehey School of Business at St. Mary’s. Armed with a wealth of research on the attitudes and behaviors of millennials, Dr. Singh explained to a packed house of San Antonio business leaders why companies need to redesign themselves to appeal to this new generation.
“This generation wants to do things that are phenomenal, but they want to do it on their own terms,” she told the crowd, rejecting the idea of millennials being lazy, disloyal or shallow as myths.
She argues that businesses need to adapt to millennials, as they will make up 75% of the overall workforce by 2025, and she describes them as “the most talented and diverse generation,” traits businesses want in an employee. Millennials are not influenced by advertising and don’t want to work for companies that do not allow them to be their “authentic self,” Singh suggested. She added that she has seen many of her brightest students turn down job offers at prestigious employers for smaller start-ups simply because they “couldn’t imagine wearing a suit every day.”
So how does a business leverage this generation of workers, the ones that came up with successful companies like Uber, Spotify and Air BnB on their own, when they are not as easily swayed as Generation X or Baby Boomers?
Dr. Singh believes businesses need to redesign their company culture to better suit millennials, 88% of whom do not believe money is the best measure of success. They are more likely to buy from or be interested in working for a company that supports solutions to social causes, something businesses would be wise to invest in.
Millennials are more comfortable working in groups than the baby boomer generation, so businesses will need to reward those who seek innovation through collaborative efforts. Additionally, the tradition of reviewing an employee’s performance annually is too slow for millennials. Dr. Singh suggests faster performance reviews to keep these employees in the loop about how they’re doing.
Businesses need to “be the company millennials want,” she says. “This is going to be a big change, but I also think it will be the coolest change yet.”