It seems only yesterday that we were first alerted to this new breed of digital nomads; the restless and slightly enigmatic Millennials.
Now grown up and firmly embedded in the workplace, about to be joined by the newer Generation Z, Millennials are no longer the young bloods who will set the world alight. Their habits have become less of a mystery, much more predictable.
But no less challenging to retain.
It might explain a lot, that the youngest of the Millennial generation were hardly even at school when 9/11 changed the way we view the world forever. Even the oldest were only just at University. And they were somewhere between early secondary school and second job stage when the financial crash first hit.
Maybe it’s a result of this, combined with the introduction of student loans and rocketing house prices, that have left them in the most debt at an early age - and more laissez-faire about money and the importance of saving for the future than previous generations.
Millennials generally start work later in life, with many still living at home long into adulthood. When questioned recently about when they expected to start, and end, their working life, Millennial men were most likely to say 25 would be the age they'd launch their career, with retirement looming at just 53.
They have an unshakeable confidence that they will make it in life - especially the men again. Almost three-quarters in a recent survey said they expected to be at some stage, if they weren't already, millionaires.
And they started their most recent position by unashamedly negotiating their salary package upfront.
But it’s not all about money. More than their predecessors, Millennials seek a sense of purpose and a good work-life balance. And they expect the workplace to adapt to them to some extent - unlike their baby boomer forebears who knew to knuckle down and conform in order to get on.
They fully expect workplace training and development for their own advancement, and are unafraid of changing jobs regularly to get on if they don't feel they are facing and seeing off challenges. They communicate by instant messaging, email, social media and phone long before face-to-face interaction; and this focus on quick results means they can have an unrealistic view of how long and hard they need to work before being ready for promotion or more responsibility. But equally, they can have an immediate and lasting impact on the environment in which they work. They want to make waves; and they will follow to the end of the earth their own managers who inspire and impress them, even turning down other jobs to stay part of a good team.
And there they are; self-aware, challenging, digitally-savvy, with high expectations.
So how best to manage and retain all that talent?
Ultimately, Millennials are likely to be swayed by an employer brand they see to be transparent, honest and inspiring; and while they may find themselves unmotivated by an unchallenging role in a dull workplace, the way to reach them is to intrigue them. Offer them a flexible, stimulating environment. A supportive employer brand with great values.
Engage them. Reward them. And continue to stretch them.
Do this, and you should have a remarkable, loyal member of your team.
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