In March 2009, I wrote a blog about “relevance” in today’s society and the differences between Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers. Much study continues about the Millennial generation (people between the ages of 18 and 29) so it seems like a good time for a follow up.

I admit I take personal interest in this topic because as Active Integrated Marketing grows, we’ll be hiring professionals from this group. As employers, we can’t manage them the same way we manage members of the other generations if we expect them to remain loyal employees.

In a recent article by the Washington Post’s Ian Shapira, the Pew Research Center found that millennials have less of a work ethic than those of older generations. The report also noted millennials stress parenthood and marriage above their careers and financial success. They define themselves as confident, self-expressive, liberal, upbeat and open to change.

Based on their own definition and their admission of their lack of work ethic (despite their reasoning), it’s important that we communicate our expectations of their behavior at work to them and that we set guidelines of those expectations. As an employer, we have a right to expect certain things of our employees. For example, in the advertising agency industry, we expect to work long hours – it’s not a 9 to 5 job in any way, shape or form. We make that commitment to our clients and we need employees that are willing to give that time. However, as employers, we have to make sure we compensate for that in perks and salary as well.

Seventy-five percent of respondents said they have a profile on a social networking site in the study. Going back to my last blog on the topic, I talked about the importance of millennials using their knowledge of social networking to their work advantage and older generations need to learn from them. Only 50% of the Gen Xers in the study said they have a social profile and even less, 30% of Boomers reported having one.

Whether we like it or not, social networking is here to stay. It will grow and morph at lightening speed and as the “older” generations, we need to keep up. So learn from the millennials and use their knowledge to the advantage of your companies and clients.

A few other interesting facts:

  • Do you sleep with your cell phone? If you’re a millennial you do! (ok, I admit it, I do too…). Eighty-three percent of the millennials in the survey have placed their cell phone next to their bed when sleeping.
  • The study notes 37% of millennials are currently unemployed or out of the work force.
  • Need to reach millennials in your advertising? According to a report from eMarketer and Retrevo 23% of Internet users under 25 watched “most” of their TV on the Internet compared to 8% of all online adults.  

Have an opinion on millennials in the work place? I’d love to hear it. Post up!

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