Updated: Apr 21
“If you feel like you’re being asked to re-create their over-pampered childhood classroom, then get over it. They’re right; you’re wrong; and for more reasons than you might expect.” - Jack Skeels
Inc-500 Award Entrepreneur and RAND Corporation Founder, Jack Skeels, thinks you should listen more carefully to your Millennial employees. With as much attention as Millennials get nowadays, do you really need to pay even more attention to them? The answer is: Yes. Millennials are the largest age demographic since the Boomers and they are worth big money, at least according to studies by Gallup, Manpower, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Photo Courtesy of Wix
Here’s three proven reasons you should be listening to your Millennial employees:
Reason One: There’s a lot of Them
Although Skeels' delivery is in his article “Why Agencies Must Embrace A Millennial Mindset” is rather sharp, his analysis is statistically correct. As the saying goes, there is safety in numbers and Millennials are the largest generation since the Baby Boomers. The youngest age demographic under the Millennial umbrella is about 24 years old right now. Meaning many of them are starting to enter the professional workforce, increasing the percentage of employed Millennials. By 2030, 75% of the workforce will be Millennials according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. So what does this mean for firms? They are going to have to start acclimating to their Millennial employees or risk being left behind.
Reason Two: They’re Agile
According to Skeels, if Millennials aren’t embraced, they could become your greatest competition. “The Millennial dream workplace is easier to build than ever. With co-loft workspaces, inexpensive computing, cloud services, virtualization more available and costing less, those Millennial creative and tech stars can form a new agency overnight.” In addition to co-working spaces and cloud services, distributed teams are also important to Millennials. According to survey “Millennial Careers: 2020 Vision” by Manpower, 79% of Millennials list “flexible working” as a top priority at work. This not only decreases costs, but allows for distributed teams. When start-ups have access to talent all over the world using the distributed teams method, it can spell out trouble for older firms. Additionally, the Millennial trend of rejecting materialism in exchange for positive experiences leads them to value expensive offices and apartments less and less. This allows room for co-working spaces and cloud services to take root, keeping overhead low. As has been proven through 20202, the mobile workplace is more flexible, and more attractive to newcomers. This also makes the workplace more immune to national, and international, disasters.
Reason Three: They’re Quick to Leave and Expensive to Replace
Attrition and hiring are expensive for firms that don’t listen to their Millennial employees. Millennial turnover costs the U.S. economy an estimated $30.5 billion annually and 43% of Millennials envision leaving their firms within two years according to a Deloitte survey of the demographic. According to "How Millennials Want To Work And Live" turnover is due to unfilled desires for purpose, coaching, and development. Although Millennials are stereotyped as lazy and disengaged, they actually want to be involved in their workplace. According to CNBC, some Millennials could see themselves being at a fulfilling company for over a decade, provided the company aligns with the employees values. Considering 73% of Millennials work over 40 hours a week and 25% of them work over 50 hours a week, this could mean serious productivity over the course of 10 years. If a company wants to hire talent that will carry them beyond 2040, they will need to be desirable to Millennials. They could be left behind otherwise.