To the baby boomer generation, pension plans, a straight career path, and a corner office were more important. The baby boomers believe in committing a substantial duration of their careers to a particular organization.
This is not the same value system or driving force of the millennials. The millennials want meaning in their work and are more attracted to entrepreneurial endeavors. Among many other things they value experience other than ownership. And at work, they want ongoing conversation and feedback rather than annual review.
They are the most racially diverse generation in US history. They are digitally proficient, socially liberal, best educated and they work well in groups. The millennials now make up over 25% of US population. With the current trend, it's a matter of time before they dominate the work culture.
Thus, many businesses have to adjust their style to suit this coming generation. Below is how the millennial value system and lifestyle is geared towards improving life productivity.
Understanding this value system could help businesses redesign their operations in a way that attract and gain the respect and loyalty of the millennials.
1. Purposeful Consumption
Food is not just food to the millennial, it's a fuel, a badge and a movement to them. To the millennials, food is an extension of their social values. This is why their Instagram pages are usually filled with pictures of what they eat and drink.
A practical example of this is the concept of coffee delivery system via subscription model. In this model, the coffee beans are processed, roasted and packaged by those who grew them, and then delivered to your front door.
This process becomes more meaningful to the millennials because of its innovative way of using coffee production and consumption as a tool for empowering farmers in the field. Purposeful consumption is not just a fad for this group of people, it is central to who they are.
There is this misconception about millennials as being a lazy generation. This stereotypic view is in part due to the fact that a large percentage of the millennials engage in meditation and yoga. Conversely, meditation to the millennials is one of the ways to effectively improve productivity in life.
Meditation is one of the least expensive way to ward off stress and stay relaxed. It is a way to harness the creative power of the mind and make it work effectively. Meditation engages the right side of the brain that is responsible for creating new ideas.
Eden Kozlowski did a better job in highlighting how meditation empowers the millennials at work. She stated that "Meditation complements the millennial perception of being special, expand their notion of tolerance, help their balance of technology and humanity, and reinforces their belief of work/life balances".
Engaging in easy meditation is one of the ways millennials give proper perspective to life and thus maintain motivation for better productivity at work.
3. Good Sleep
One of the factors attributed to the success of many millennials is sleep. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that the millennials sleep for an average of nine hours per night. That is an average of 25 more minutes of sleep each night than any other generation.
What is more interesting is that despite their heartfulness for sleep the millennials are still clocking more hours at work than the baby boomers. To the millennials sleep is very important for their productivity and effectiveness. This is something we can all learn from the generation Y.
One of the common passions of the Millennial is travel. Rather than saving money to buy stuffs for ownership they prefer spending such fund on gaining experience travelling. Travelling is also more about improving life productivity to the Millennials. Several reports have shown how work-life integration (rather than work-life balance) is important to the millennials.
A 2012 survey of frequent traveler revealed that over two-thirds associate travel experience to positive impact on their health and productivity. This explains why many companies are now incorporating personal travel experience into corporate travel policies so as to accommodate the millennials.
To the millennials having exotic voyages while on a business trip to places like Vietnam is what gives more meaning to their work.
5. Open Mindedness
The millennials are very diverse, ethnically and racially, than any other generation. They are also the most educated generation in the U.S. history. This has great influence on their open-mindedness on any issue of life. This attribute make it easy for them to embrace new ideas and strengthen themselves.
According to Amanda Beadlescomb, open mindedness also make it easier for the millennials to lead a happier live. A poll by New Harris revealed that of all the generations, millennials are most open-minded when it comes to belief system, sexual identity, and gender. This, in turn has positive influence on their productivity.
Their open mindedness also make it easier for them to talk about any issues they are facing. For instance, the millennials are not typically ashamed of talking about addiction. Such open mindedness help them find the connection and resources needed for fresh life recovery.
6. Purposeful Giving
A 2010 Pew Research indicated that the millennials would rather give and help people in need than go for a high paying career. According to Dan Epstein, the CEO of business consultancy Resource Pro, "giving employees the liberty to form committees and engage the company's resources and time to organize events/causes for social benefit help get them motivated and more loyal in giving their best to the company."
According to Derrick Feldmann, the President of Achieve, "millennials are passionate about the use of their time, talent, treasure, voice and network as a valuable asset for philanthropic endeavors."
They are more than happy to part with their money out of the goodness of their heart when their social or professional connections compel them to do so.
Once again, to this group of people, purpose is everything.