Are Millennials engaged in the workplace?

21 November 2017Jonathan Faurie

Companies, large or small, are entering a new era when it comes to business.

Competitiveness is growing at unprecedented rates. However, are companies attracting the skills that are needed to drive the company forward? 

Global competition

A recent article on discusses the above challenge in detail and asks how we are engaging with a new breed of corporate leaders. 

The article points out that the pressure is on to attract and retain top talent in order to compete globally. Now, more than ever before, leaders must make deliberate and bold changes to how they recruit to meet the needs of the next cohort of leaders: millennials. 

The headlines are familiar. Millennials, born after 1982, approach the work force differently than their parents. Millennials have been called job-hoppers, fickle and narcissistic. But we see it differently. We know they do not define their work by their salary alone. 

What defines them?

So, what defines Millennials? According to the article, work is about corporate social responsibility, fairness and the opportunity to give back. 

It is about having a purpose and building a career out of it. In other words, the article points out that it found that millennials are serial impact-seekers. This, in turn, has challenged businesses to adapt recruitment and engagement tactics. 

Here is how we are recruiting, engaging and retaining millennials. These principles are also a benchmark for qualities that millennials should keep in mind when choosing an employer and cultivating professional experience. 

The article adds that companies need to enable and encourage leadership at every level. Individuals want to grow and have meaningful opportunities to advance their capabilities. 

Is workplace loyalty dead?

The above concerns raise some serious questions about Millennials and their ability to be loyal to the companies that they work for. 

Another article on tries to discuss this in detail. The article points out that as workplace demographics shift, with boomers and generation-Xers increasingly leaving the work force and more millennials entering, the common belief is that employees are no longer loyal to their employers. 

Young people are regularly maligned for being self-absorbed and entitled; not willing to pay their dues; and impatient to get the promotions and compensation they feel they deserve. As a result, the unfortunate, widely held sentiment is they cannot be counted on to stick around for the long haul, nor ever be loyal to a company. 

The article argues that this point of view is flawed. The Millennial generation can be very dependable and reliable, but loyalty has a different meaning than it might have had 20 or even 10 years ago. Younger workers have grown up in a world where layoffs were common. They have seen their parents, aunts and uncles get terminated from companies with barely a nod to their years of service. 

Therefore, their frame of reference is different; they think of being tied to an organization in terms of months, not years. 

Loyalty is not dead

The article argues that workplace loyalty is not dead. However, if companies are going to hire and retain a sustainable employee base, then your perception of loyalty may require a significant shift in mindset, if for no other reason than to maintain your sanity. 

Career employees are no longer dreaming of the day they retire with gold watches at the age of 65. Today's employees are thinking of themselves more as free agents in a sports franchise. 

The article concludes that to successfully attract and keep employees in this new age of loyalty, companies will have to do two things. 

One, build a franchise in which players want to sign up for the season. And two, create a working environment that compels them to renew their contract repeatedly. 

What can companies do to attract the best players and then keep them for repeat seasons? The ball is in their court.

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