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[Author: Andrew E. Goodman, 07.17 | Keywords: Executive Insight, Millennials, Personal Development]

By the year 2020, Millennials – also known as Generation Y – are projected to make up half of the United States workforce. As a result, it is critical that employers understand this generation so they can better enable their personal development.

Millennials (born between 1984 and 2002) often are described as culturally diverse and highly educated, with
social media, digital technology, the internet and World Wide Web second nature to them. They also expect immediate feedback, accept responsibility, and want to be involved in the decision-making process.

Previous generations – Generation X (born from 1965 to 1983) and Baby Boomers (born from 1946 to 1964) – usually got married at an early age before starting a career. Millennials, in turn, often witnessed this pattern leading to divorce and/or an unhappy career. Today, young people are more focused on getting their career established before marriage and a family.

According to authors from Florida International University, “Baby Boomers resonate primarily with loyalty, work ethic, steady career path and compensation when it comes to their professional lives. Generation X, on the other hand, started shifting preferences toward an improved work-life balance with a heightened focus on individualistic advancement, stability and job satisfaction. Meanwhile, Millennials place an emphasis on producing meaningful work, finding a creative outlet, and have a preference for immediate feedback. Findings also suggest that the introduction of social media has augmented collaborative skills and created a preference for a team-oriented environment.”

Millennials also have a great interest in corporate social responsibility. They look for versatility and flexibility in the workplace, and strive for a strong work-to-life balance. In addition, they stay in touch with their parents and extended family using advanced technology.

There are several things businesses can do to advance the personal development of Millennials and all of their other employees:

  1. Allow flexibility in work schedules, giving employees more time for family and volunteering for causes important to them.
  2. Provide time and financial support for educational advancement, which benefits both the employee and company.
  3. Commit your business to corporate responsibility.
  4. Designate collaborative time for employees to work together and share information.
  5. Recognize each employee’s role in making the business a success.

Regardless of age, it is imperative to listen to your employees and to understand their needs. This goes hand in hand with the employee’s commitment to listen to you (the employer) and to be flexible in helping meet the company’s needs.



About the Author

Andrew Goodman

Andy has worked in the equipment industry for 47 years; 22 of those leading I-NEDA. His extensive knowledge and experience helps Andy guide our members through dealer-manufacturer relationships, complicated mergers and acquisitions, and legislative issues. When he’s not working, Andy enjoys riding his motorcycle, fishing, model railroading and spending time with his wife and grandchildren.