Leadership Redefined: Millennial Proofing Your Small Business

Hi, my name is Lauren - and I’m a Millennial

...there. I said it.

And I already know what you’re thinking...

You’re one of those whippersnappers who grew up with the Internet and post narcissistic “selfies” on Instagram. Ha! Wait until you enter the real world.

But, take a look around.

Tsunami Millennial has already hit the workforce and it’s not going to slow down any time soon. In fact by 2020, PWC believes that half of our workforce will be made up of Gen Y’ers and Millennials. Just like social media hit our shores a few years ago, the new wave of change is breaking.

However, the destruction is not all that bad and just requires a couple of tweaks to your business strategy. Here are 5 tips to Millennial-proof your business in 2018.

1 Value Lies in Flexibility

Millennials value experiences and living a full life (Tim Ferriss’ 4 Hour Work Week is pretty much our anthem). And 4 in 10 millennials will likely take time off during their career, for relaxation or to care for their partner.

Adapt to the situation. Consider having a more flexible arrangement in your office. If your business allows for it, negotiating a work-from-home set up, which may give your Millennial employees the freedom and flexibility they want.

2 Career Changes Are Inevitable

Baby Boomers and Gen X’ers are loyal employees and in it for the long haul. In fact, there’s only a 10% chance of a Baby Boomer leaving your company within two years.

But, times have changed and so have the numbers.

41% of Millennials say they will consider leaving a job after their two-year mark and are expected to have 3 or 4 major career changes in their working lives.

In order for you to keep them around, have incentives and programs to keep employees engaged and excited about working for you. Check in with them, see what they’re enjoying and what they’re not. Consider revisiting business roles to keep it exciting and stimulating.

3 Always Be Communicating

Millennials want constant feedback - it comes with the need for immediate gratification. Do not wait for those quarterly performance appraisals - they don’t work anymore. Rather tell your employees what you’re liking and what needs improvement on a regular basis.

This doesn’t need to be lengthy, just a short and sharp communication burst. Let’s pass on the long, rambling emails and meetings as well - they waste their time and yours.

4 Let’s Get Digital

Millennials are digital natives. They grew up with the Internet and finding a coffee shop near me in Google is second nature.

Make sure your businesses have practices and procedures that embrace digital communication. Online collaboration tools are available in leaps and bounds and are inexpensive. Shop around and keep your thumb on the tech pulse.

5 Your Social Footprint Matters

Millennials are socially conscious in every possible way. I’m sure you’ve realised terms like organic, ethically sourced and slow fashion have gained popularity.

There’s no way Millennials will stick with a brand that doesn’t inherently benefit them or their clients. They want to know where you, as the business owner, stand on the creation and delivery of your product or service.

Likewise, there is a 23% chance Millennials will not purchase a product or service without a good social or environmental benefit. Make sure you are putting effort into your social footprint.

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