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HR Matters // A Newsletter On: Creating exceptional workplaces and extraordinary results
HR MATTERS Vol 8, Issue 5 - May 2011

As the economy improves and Boomers begin to retire, employers will be competing heavily with one another to win the coveted prize—the Millennials (those born after 1980). You'll need to understand what whets this generation's appetite, if you want to secure a place at their table.

Embracing the New Breed of Workers:

The Young, the Restless and the Optimistic

By Roberta Chinsky Matuson

Optimism prevails

In spite of a sluggish economy, this generation remains optimistic about their chances of landing meaningful employment. According to a new study from Experience, Inc. (a career center website for colleges) and I Love Rewards (an employee recognition firm with offices in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Toronto), nearly two-thirds of the 8,088 respondents expect to have a job within three months of graduation and 91.7 percent within three to six months. Some believe this optimism prevails because this group feels they have a lot to contribute. The Millennials may be right – only time will tell.

Chasing the future

Employers need new thinking to fuel innovation. Millennials bring in fresh ideas and offer a new way to look at things. They are the future. This group is connected 24/7, and they are tech-savvy. With the global world at their fingertips, they can teach us a lot about how to stay relevant in an ever-changing world.

Making the connection

Millennials rank salary as a top factor when considering future employment, with 44.7 percent projecting they will earn of $25,000 to $49,000 annually and 30.8 percent expecting to start at the $50,000 to $74,999 range. Hey, it's good to have dreams, right?

Survey respondents have a high sense of commitment (or they are entering the workforce with great hope), as 24 percent believe they will stay with their first employer for more than 10 years and 64 percent expect to work for two to five years in the same company.

That's particularly interesting, given the current Labor Department figures that show the average Millennial only stays with a first employer for 1.5 years. This generation has gained the reputation of being impatient with the traditional style of working their way up the corporate ladder. Many don't see the value that comes with experience. They expect every opportunity to happen as soon as they're ready for it, regardless of current market conditions or their longevity on the job.

Preparing for the challenge

In less than three years, Millennials are predicted to comprise 50 percent of the workforce. Attracting, retaining, and motivating this generation will be one of the greatest challenges growing and emerging companies will face in coming years.

Here are four ways you can prepare.

1. Use social media to attract Millennials. Companies will need to be proficient in their usage of social media. The future is already upon us. A recent USA Today article noted that nearly 28 percent of college students plan to seek employment, using LinkedIn. That's up from 5 percent last year. According to the study, students use digital tools to search for the employer of their dreams, and the days of college students waiting for employers to come on campus may be long gone.

Bottom line: Manage your online image; update your site frequently; and monitor your online reputation.

2. Use social media platforms to keep them engaged. This generation wants to feel a strong connection to co-workers. This may be particularly challenging for employers as the push towards telecommuting continues to change the landscape of work.

Bottom line: Keep people connected by leveraging intranets and being vigilant about bringing workers together in real-time.

3. Think through your core values. Millennials are particularly concerned about a company's fundamental tenets and commitment to give back to its community. Many are asking questions about the moral values which guide a company and the way it operates.

Bottom line: Be prepared to respond to questions regarding your firm's commitment to the community and the rest of the world.

4. Develop and maintain a congenial work environment. This is important to the Millennials, and they expect it. They grew up on teams, and they all have trophies to prove it! Good relationships among employees rank high on their list.

Bottom line: Foster a team culture.

The Millennials are moving forward in full force and are changing the way companies brand, operate and market. It's exciting to think about a future filled with a generation that craves roundtables, collaboration, shared responsibility, and creativity: a perfect recipe for organizations open to trying something new.

Selecting for Success:

The Complete System for Hiring Top Talent

Selecting for Success"This is a concise, well organized tool that can be used immediately to improve hiring results!"
– Anne Paradis, Chief Executive Officer, MicroTek, Inc.

I'm frequently brought into companies to fix situations that could have been avoided if the right people had been hired the first time around. By the time I arrive, the client has lost a significant amount of productivity, customer good-will and sleep.

Companies are hiring again. Some are doing so to replace the 10,000 Baby Boomers who are retiring daily while others are preparing for growth. This time around, the stakes are higher. Why? Companies have been running lean over the past few years and people are used to working in tight-knit teams. This means that each person added to the business will have a significant impact on the equilibrium of the organization. That's why it's so critical for today's hiring manager to be skilled in how to assess candidates for fit.

Effective hiring is a skill that can be learned and fine-tuned with practice. The Selecting for Success: The Complete System for Hiring Top Talent has been designed for organizations interested in dramatically improving the quality of their hires and creating an organization where customers line up to do business. You can purchase the book and practice the skills on your own or you can give us a call to learn more about our On-Site Selecting For Success workshops.

Act today and take advantage of our special pricing, including 10% off all Selecting for Success Workshops booked and paid in full during the month of May. (Note: We will work together to schedule a mutually convenient time for your workshop.)

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We know what it is like to be suddenly in charge. In fact, we wrote the book on it! Imagine how different your life might have been if you had been given access to a management peer group to help you quickly work through challenges faced by most new leaders. Think of how unproductive you were when you were left to figure everything out for yourself.

We believe there is a better way to build strong leaders. That's why we developed Suddenly in ChargeSM Management Roundtables. Our one-of-a-kind program combines group coaching with peers, and one-on-one support, to boost front-line performance of newly minted managers.

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About Roberta Matuson

For more than 25 years, Roberta Matuson, president of Matuson Consulting, has helped leaders in Fortune 500 companies and small to medium-size businesses create exceptional workplaces leading to extraordinary results. As a seasoned consultant, Roberta is considered a leading authority on leadership and the skills and strategies required to earn employee commitment and client loyalty.

She is the author of the highly acclaimed book, Suddenly in Charge: Managing Up, Managing Down, Succeeding All Around and is a highly sought after speaker, consultant and executive coach.

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