The Baby Boom generation was the largest ever born – numbering 76 million. That all changed when they started having babies. Baby boomers begot the Millennial Generation (born during the early 1980s through the mid 1990s) – a generation even larger than that of their parents.
And just as baby boomers reshaped the cultural and workplace environment – millennials are themselves making a huge impact.
If you own or run a business in Connecticut, you are surely feeling the impact of this generation on your workforce. As employees – they are different in many ways from the generations that preceded them. Here are six attributes sociologists recommend employers remember when adding these workers to the team:
- Millennials are the best educated generation in history. Take advantage of that asset.
- Their first experiences in life were of relative prosperity and peace. Then there was 9/11 and the Great Financial Crash of 2008. Call them the generation of lost innocence. The last 15 years have had a deep impact on their outlook.
- They like digital communications and working in teams.
- They want to share responsibility. As a direct result of the parenting style of baby boomers, millennnials are looking to feel as though they matter to your organization. By giving them responsibilities in the business early in their career – you can help enhance their work experience while improving their overall productivity.
- They are seeking a dependable work/life balance – unwilling to sacrifice as much for financial gain. Personnel policies that are humane – that allow for a reasonable work/life balance will not only help you retain these youthful workers – but improve the work environment for all of your employees.
- What kind of a corporate citizen your company is matters a great deal to millennials. This generation cares about business ethics and the impact a business has on community. Think of ways you can show them community matters to you. Doing well while doing good is important to this cohort.
- They expect feedback on their performance – so give it to them. Again – you can thank their baby boom parents for this attribute. These kids have grown to expect lots of performance feedback. And they don’t just want it once or twice a year – they often want and expect it continuously. The key to success here: engage, engage, engage.
And just as you were figuring out Millennials – here comes the next, even larger demographic bulge… Generation Z.
Now while this generation is just now reaching 20 years of age – they’ll soon be impacting the workforce in profound ways. As their future employer, here are some things to know about them.
- If Millenials are the “lost innocence” generation, generation Z’ers are the skeptical generation.
- This generation will again be extremely well educated – and the most technologically advanced in human history. Again – these are huge assets.
- They are likely to replace optimism with pragmatism and skepticism.
- Privacy angst and caution will likely be far more powerful characteristics of this group.
- Corporate rank and title will likely count less… to this generation – we are all the same.
We so often write about how difficult managing employees can be. It’s often the most challenging aspect of owning or running a business. But understanding the generational and cultural differences each generation brings to your workforce can help you build an organization that harnesses each employee’s talents and skill sets into a flexible, resilient and highly profitable enterprise.
If you’re an employer and find yourself challenged by the changing demographics of your workforce and unsure how to create a work environment that appropriately and legally meets your needs and those of your employees, consider calling on the attorneys at Kainen, Escalera & McHale in Connecticut. We do one thing, and one thing alone – we are a Connecticut employer defense law firm – we work to protect the interests of employers throughout the region. What’s more, each of our Connecticut attorneys has over 20 years of experience in employment and labor law matters and can provide your business with comprehensive legal counsel ranging from assistance with necessary preventive measures to trial advocacy. Please contact us if we can help you.
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