Making Sense Of Millennials: America’s New Largest Workforce

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When Baby Boomers and Gen Xers think of millennials, they don’t necessarily think of industriousness. The general thinking is that they’re unmotivated at best and self-important at worst. Whether that’s true or not, Millennials are now the largest sector of the workforce, so it’s essential for business owners to understand what makes them tick.

Defenders of millennials, like Cisco’s Monique LeFors Edmondson, would beg to differ with this characterization. “[Millennials] are ambitious and we need to give them work that will challenge and stretch them to be the inventors we need to take our business forward,” she says in an article for the Huffington Post.

It might seem like her industry puts her at more of an advantage to implement that strategy than someone in the restaurant business. But Restaurant Hospitality writer Mark Heymann’s suggestion that owners and managers be more open to sharing operations numbers with their staffs speaks to Millennial motivations. While their work responsibilities won’t change, seeing the numbers will help to emphasize the importance and influence their efforts have over the success of the business.

Maybe more than anything, Millennials want to feel like the work is making a difference. Simple touches like sharing those figures can do that. As an added bonus, it will help to create a workplace culture that encourages the entire staff to feel comfortable sharing suggestions for improving business. You may be the head honcho, but no one spends more time dealing with customers than your front-of-house staff.

Basically, if you want your Millennial employees to perform well, make them feel like they have stake in what’s happening around them. If they stay challenged, and if their work has purpose, you’ll find that they can be model employees.

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