Are Millennials Really that Different from Baby Boomers?

Millennial minded?  Really?

Much has been researched and written about millennials and how organizations need to get ready for the changing shifts in the workforce.  I believe that the workforce has evolved, and a majority of employees have become ‘millennial-minded.’

Think about it. Who doesn’t scroll through Facebook or sleep with a cell phone next to their bed? Do you care about the state of the world? Do you use online reviews to make purchasing decisions? Many tag these as millennial characteristics,  but these are really now societal norms that impact almost everyone. Remember, societal trends affect people, young and old. In a similar sense, people impact society as well – it’s a continuous loop of cause and effect similar to “was it the chicken or the egg?” The millennial profile isn’t just applicable to one generation anymore. Society is creating a majority millennial mindset.

Job-hopping millennials?

There are constant posts highlighting the fact that this is a job hopping generation. When reviewing why millennials are quitting their jobs, it seems to stem back to the lack of opportunity for growth, little feedback, lack of recognition and inability to apply their learned skill-sets. BUT, let’s assess the situation.

First, let me disclose that I am a baby-boomer (but you probably guessed that from my picture). I grew up in a word of full-employment.  Companies kept employees forever, and in return, employees stayed forever. That is no longer our world. Companies have been forced to make hard decisions about hiring and firing, and many states do not even require the employer to have a good cause to terminate an employee. This fact alone changes how every employee views their employer. Yes, millennials change jobs more often than baby-boomers, but the new employer landscape plays a significant role in why they are changing jobs.

Life altering events

Every generation is impacted by changing trends in society or cataclysmic life altering events. In this regard, millennials and baby-boomers have significant similarities. Baby-boomers had the Vietnam War, the explosion of rock and roll, the Peace Corp, etc. Millennials had the tragic events of 9/11 and a world driven by technology that have molded these young individuals to be digital natives, compassionate activists and accepting adults.

Change your outlook, change your focus

So, instead of lamenting the differences of a multi-generational workforce and the difficulties associated with keeping millennials engaged, it is time to focus on the similarities of the workforce:
•    A desire to be succeed
•    Having a voice, that is heard, in your organization
•    Being appreciated for a job well done
•    Enjoying the people on your team

Treating people well, giving them a voice and a career path is the best way to keep your millennials (and all the other generations) in your organization.  I’d love to hear how your organization is changing its focus.  Email me at dbroderson@perks.com with your input.

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Perks.com offers global rewards, recognition and retention programs for some of the most influential companies in the world. With a listing on the Salesforce AppExchange and a global user base of over 5 million people, Perks takes the guesswork out of figuring out what drives employee behavior. Rewards and Incentives all backed and supported by years of expertise and our "Science of Motivation" platform. For additional information, visit www.perks.com.

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Deb Broderson

Perks.com offers global rewards, recognition and retention programs for some of the most influential companies in the world. With a listing on the Salesforce AppExchange and a global user base of over 5 million people, Perks takes the guesswork out of figuring out what drives employee behavior. Rewards and Incentives all backed and supported by years of expertise and our "Science of Motivation" platform. For additional information, visit www.perks.com.

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