Are Millennials Really that Different from Baby Boomers?

March 16, 2016 Deb Broderson

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 your bed? Do you care about the state of the world? Do you use online reviews to make purchasing decisions? These aren’t just millennial characteristics; these are now societal norms that have impacted almost everyone. Remember, society and its 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?

Much has been made of 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. I grew up in a word of full-employment at a time when companies kept employees forever, and in return, employees stayed forever. That is no longer the 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.

Employers must rethink how to regain loyalty in a world where no promises are given to employees. 

Life altering events

Every generation has been 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 about 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:
•    The desire to be successful
•    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.

 

 

 

 

 

About the Author

Deb Broderson

Deb Broderson comes to Perks with 30 years of diverse experience leading channel marketing, marketing operations and program management teams within the technology industry. Deb has provided strategic direction to Fortune 500 clients, developed and executed global, multi-channel, go-to-market strategies and created worldwide field marketing organizations. Deb has worked on both the agency and client-side of the business, providing a well-rounded perspective to client challenges. Deb was honored as one of the Top 50 Channel Chiefs in North America by CRN.

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