When IBM approached us to become their Social Business Book of the Month for August (as well as when we first started writing 2 Billion Under 20 back in late 2013), if you typed the words “Millennials are” into Google, the autosuggestion dropdown menu would spit out the words “entitled,” “narcissistic,” “lazy,” and of course, “screwed.”
Of course, we here at 2 Billion Under 20 (and our new holding company StartsWith Group) and our partners at IBM know that millennials are not, in fact, screwed, and that instead we are the future of the consumer marketplace, workplace, and society as a whole.
In our book, which became a #1 New Release in Business Leadership on Amazon, topped ProductHunt on the day of its release, and has even been seen in the hands of Presidential Candidate Chris Christie, we bring together 75 ambitious, talented millennials who share their stories in order to slash negative stereotypes surrounding our generation and replace them with inspiration for young people to act on their passions in life and education for older generations on what makes us “tick.”
It’s important for businesses especially to understand how millennials are shaping the workforce, as well as how to market to them, if these companies wish to remain in business, let alone relevant, over the next 15 years as millennials becoming well over 75 percent of the global workforce. To push you in the right direction, we want to give three quick tips, all on how to work better with millennials.
When Marketing to Millennials, Include Them in the Conversation
When it comes to selling to the savviest consumer group the world has ever seen, made up of people who have more computing power in their pocket than the U.S. government had when they put a man on the moon, maximizing the production of your widgets and squeezing out profit margins at the expense of high-quality solutions or experiences for your customers simply won’t sustain businesses in coming years. Instead, those companies who focus on high-quality solutions to actual consumer challenges, coupled with inclusion of millennials in product, customer experience, and marketing conversation will yield better results. Do you have millennials on your advisory boards (or have you thought about being one of the first companies to have an all-millennial advisory board)? Have you made the product creation process iterative and data-based, opting more for the Silicon Valley model of split-testing everything and creating customer development feedback loops rather than settling for biased and misrepresentative focus groups? Point is: don’t market to millennials. Work with millennials.
When Hiring or Recruiting Top Millennial Talent, Are You in Your Own Way?
We really hope you’re aware that the 9-to-5, work 40 years and retire model of employed life is well out the window by now. It’s 2015! Millennials are looking to work for companies that give them the opportunity to design work around their life, not vice versa. For companies who are doing this, and providing lifestyle design considerations rather than mere salary and equity considerations in their hiring practices, they are noticing something unique happening. Turns out that when you equip a millennial employee with the space and flexibility to “have a life,” they end up working harder for your company, staying with your group longer, and providing higher quality work, whether they are in the office or at home or on vacation, but still connected via multiple devices and taking care of business … with a smile. Lifestyle design is sexier than salary, so leverage that when recruiting top millennial employees.
Are You Losing $15,000 (and Lots of Talent) by Not Taking Care of Your Millennials?
Companies who learn how to retain and engage their current millennial employees will be light-years ahead of their competitors at the end of this upcoming generational “changing of the guards.” Each millennial employee who leaves your company costs on average $15,000 to replace, and that doesn’t even take into consideration the amount of brainpower, problem-solving abilities, and overall hit on company culture and employee engagement you will suffer from if that employee leaves on anything less than stellar terms.
Keep millennials under your roof and heavily engaged in your company’s success by giving them ownership of various projects, metrics, etc. within your company. We are some of the most entrepreneurial thinkers yet, so utilize that to get the most engagement and entrenchment as possible from millennial employees who wish as much as you do that your social media metrics (or marketing metrics, or sales metrics, etc.) increase by the predetermined goal. Also, open feedback loops with employees and ask them what’s going well in their role, what’s a challenge, and what are some good ideas they may have for your company’s growth. You’ll get great ideas from younger employees who are more technically savvy and on the front lines than from a typically older, less focused C-suite.
In a Sentence
Understanding the millennial generation starts when you work with millennials.
Join the Conversation
2 Billion Under 20: How Millennials Are Breaking Down Age Barriers and Changing The World is IBM’s Social Business Book of the Month in August. To learn more about 2 Billion Under 20, StartsWith Group, and everything that co-authors Stacey Ferreira and Jared Kleinert are up to, feel free to say hi at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
from Social Business Insights Blog http://ift.tt/1KNQBVV