Millennials. Ah, the mere word incites a rash of emotions among parents, employers and marketers. I can’t remember the last time a “generation” of people caused such an uproar. Ironically, a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau has some data to back up the observations of many that this generation is playing by its own rules.
“Today’s young adults look different from prior generations in almost every regard: how much education they have, their work experiences, when they start a family, and even who they live with while growing up,” says a report from the Census Bureau.
According to the report:
- Millennials increasingly live at home and delay starting a family. More than half of all Americans think marriage and children are not important steps in becoming an adult, while 90% of Americans believe that finishing school and being gainfully employed are important milestones of adulthood.
- Young women are pulling ahead in employment and wages, while those numbers on are the decline for young men.In 1975, 25% of men between 25 and 34 had incomes of less than $30,000 (adjusted for inflation) per year. By 2016, it was 41%. The number of young women ages 25 to 34 in the workforce jumped more than 40% between 1975 and 2016.
- One-third of young Americans lives with a parent or parents. Of those, 25% do not work or go to school. By 2016, more young adults lived with their parents than a husband or wife.
- 41% of young families had a student debt in 2013, up from 17% in 1989 and the amount owed on those loans has tripled.
Why is it important for you to understand this generation? Because by 2020, Millennials will make up 75% of the U.S. workforce, meaning they will be the vast majority of the people you manage, lead, motivate, and inspire to get extraordinary results for your team and company.
As it relates to work characteristics, they have been raised with helicopter parents, structured lives, constant communication and contact with diverse people.
Millennials are accustomed to working in teams and want to make friends with people at work. They also work well with diverse coworkers. Their can-do attitude is infectious, they want to hear how they are doing, how to get ahead, and they want a variety of important, interesting tasks. Boredom is the death of a Millennial, as is a lack of constant communication. Millennials (aka Computer Experts) are the most connected generation in history and openly share that they will network right out of their current workplace if these needs are not met.
BE AWESOME! Whether they report to you or not, virtually every workplace is overflowing with Millennials. With this new information at your fingertips, what strategy can you develop and implement with fellow leaders to ensure your Millennials do not become a flight risk? Need help? I’m a phone call away.
Jill Christensen is an employee engagement expert, best-selling author, and international keynote speaker. She was recently named a Top 100 Global Employee Engagement Influencer, authored the best-selling book, If Not You, Who? Cracking the Code of Employee Disengagement, and works with the best and brightest global leaders to improve productivity and retention, customer satisfaction, and revenue growth. Jill can be reached at +1.303.999.9224 or firstname.lastname@example.org.