If you’re like some Boomers and Traditionalists, you may be asking “What’s all the fuss about Millennials?” If you’re a Gen X-er, you may be tired of hearing all the fuss since you’re sandwiched between Boomers and Millennials—both very large and vocal. No matter when you were born, if it was prior to 1979, you have to put away your crusty plan because the “next greatest generation” is here.
We’ve recently featured Cause for Change: The Why and How of Nonprofit Millennial Engagement by Kari Dunn Saratovsky and Derrick Feldmann in our summary library of recommended reading. Cause for Change is a compelling read about reasons for including Millennials in your strategic planning. It not only reinforces what we’ve read in Fundraising and the Next Generation, it provides a framework we introduced in my last post.
When I asked Saratovsky and Feldmann about some of these crusty attitudes and the rationale for engaging Millennials rather than asking them to adapt, Dunn-Saratovsky answered in the following way:
CausePlanet: If older generations (Boomers and Traditionalists) ask why they should accommodate Millennials’ workplace preferences versus asking Millennials to adapt to current organizational culture, what is the rationale you would recommend our readers share?
Dunn-Saratovsky: The Millennial Generation is now the largest age group, outnumbering even our Baby Boomer parents. The majority of Millennials came of age during the first decade of the 21st Century and it was at this same time that rapid advancements in technology were also taking place.
But beyond just a comfort and familiarity with technology, Millennials are bringing a different set of values and characteristics into the workplace and creating a change in how work gets done. Millennials tend to work more effectively in teams and oppose hierarchical structures; they crave transparency and feedback, good or bad; and want to challenge the status quo and exercise their entrepreneurial spirit. These changes in the workplace if embraced by organizational leadership can help all generations come together, ultimately leading to stronger organizations and better performance in the community.
Millennials’ social mindset is also a significant factor. A report released last year by Net Impact showed most Millennials said having a job that makes a social impact on the world is an important life goal. In fact, students said it was more important than having children, a prestigious career, being wealthy, or being a community leader —ranking only below ﬁnancial security and marriage. This mindset is something that is important for organizations to recognize as Millennials are taking jobs that may pay less but have a greater social return.
Do you discuss how to engage Millennials in your strategic plan? If not yet, why? If so, tell us about it.
Save the date for our live interview with coauthor Kara Saratovsky on September 12 at 11 a.m. CST when we discuss how to cultivate and communication with the “next greatest generation.”
CausePlanet members: Register now for our next author interview with branding expert and author, Jocelyne Daw, on Wednesday, July 31 at 11 a.m. CST. We’ll discuss her book Cause Marketing: Partner for Purpose, Passion and Profits.
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Image credit: Oh Geez Design