For the first time in history, we have four generations in the workforce at the same time. The misunderstanding and lack of appreciation for the differences between each generation is common in today’s workplace. Forbes recently noted a Bentley University study touching on the issue, highlighting a general disconnect between millennials and their elders in the workplace. In general, the younger generation doesn’t want to put its nose to the grindstone without knowing they’re working toward something constructive, innovative and ethical. The study made the following discoveries:
- 85 percent of millennials seek companies cognizant of social and environmental issues
- 95 percent of millennials pay attention to an enterprise’s reputation
- More than half of millennials are suspicious of whether businesses “do the right thing”
Appealing to Millennials
Millennials care about, and pay a lot of attention to their environments. Many research a company’s practices, partners and solutions prior to engagement. This generation has been surrounded by technology pretty much since the cradle, thus spawning their attraction towards creativity and innovation.
Below are a few key points you need to keep in mind when developing a brand strategy, all of which regard the mentality of the world’s most currently sought after constituency.
- Employ transparency: Be proactive in divulging your processes to the public, even if they aren’t favorable. Millennials have been bombarded with advertisements masquerading behind a collection of questionable protocols. Honesty is a quality they find attractive in a brand.
- Don’t be so formal: While interacting with them, try to connect with them in a personal manner. For example, when a millennial posts a question on your company’s Facebook page, allow an actual representative to respond. Businesses are made of people, so put them on the front lines.
- Keep them informed: To tap into their creativity, connect them with information regarding a product or service that’s in development. Educate them about the industry you participate in and how you’re an authority in the space. That being said, don’t shove your name down their throats – you don’t need to say “At [insert brand name] we specialize in…”
Additionally, engage them in a non-aggressive manner. Don’t try to force them to communicate with you – simply present the opportunity.