Four Things You Need to Know About Millennial Workers
NATIONAL REPORT — Much is being said about millennials — from the businesses they have helped usher into obsolescence, to their preference for connecting via screens rather than face-to-face and, last but not least, what they’re really like as employees.
If the generation’s most vocal detractors are to be believed, it would spell doom for just about every industry, as in just a few years’ time, millennials will make up more than 45 percent of the workforce. Fortunately for industries, including the convenience and fuel retailing industry, millennials may very well possess many attributes that could wind up being a boon for the companies that have them in their employ.
And it’s not only important for employers to know what millennial workers can offer them, but also what they will need to offer potential millennial workers.
Here are four things every convenience store retailer needs to know about millennial workers:
They Want to Make a Difference
“[Millennials] want to work someplace they can make a difference. If you realize that and tap into their desire to make a difference, you can engage them at a different level than you would somebody who just wants a job, to earn an income,” said Matt Thornhill, founder and managing partner of SIR’s Institute for Tomorrow. “If you’re not paying attention, if you’re not thinking, ‘How can I help this young person feel like they're making a difference in their job every single day,’ you’re going to have a hard time keeping them.”
They Have a Natural Ability to Collaborate
One of the best attributes that millennials can bring to a company is their natural ability to collaborate, which is largely a byproduct of their upbringing, according to SIR CEO and Managing Partner John Martin. “When millennials’ parents told them ‘you are special,’ millennial kids heard ‘we’ are all special, no one is best,” he explained. “This was reinforced by hyper-wiring them together via technology. Consequently, millennials’ Wonder Years created a new sense of self — the collective self. This group is all about we, together, us.”
They Are Tech-Savvy Without Trying
While older generations have adapted to the changing tides of technology, it’s second nature for millennials. “Technology is very much just woven into their lives. Their use of technology is very intuitive and pervasive in a way that is less the case for older generations,” said Retail Prophet founder and futurist Doug Stephens. “This is a huge asset for companies as they work to explore how technology can be used to reimagine their internal workflows and external customer experiences.”
They Will Check You Out on Social Media
While millennials’ familiarity with technology can make them beneficial hires, it can also complicate the hiring process for companies with a poor digital presence. “You can count on prospective millennial employees to turn to several sources to check you out as a potential employer before signing on. This includes your website, third-party rating sites like Glassdoor, and even their parents (a.k.a. best friend and coach),” said Martin. He recommends companies conduct a social media audit on how its organization is profiled across social media platforms.
Look in the October issue of Convenience Store News for an in-depth report analyzing the new generation of workers.