The Millennial Business Paradox – Introduction

Corporate Mentoring

Millennials: can’t work with them, can’t work without them. 🙂

With so many current philosophies, reports, studies, and “break-through” ways of convincing Millennials to embrace your way of business, why is none of this working on Millennials? What is a Millennial Business Paradox?

CEO’s, CFO’s and COO’s are crying out in anguish about their “Millennial Problem”.

Easy come, easy go?

If we conclude that we are better off having a revolving door policy for new hires, what are the deeper economic impacts on your company? How does this policy impact the moral of the remaining staff?

Truth or Dare.
Truth: Millennials bring the perfect mind-set for the ever-changing shifts in how the world consumes, acquires and catalogues information.
Truth: Most experts telling you how to work with Millennials are using antiquated approaches that only work on the non-Millennial Millennials.
Dare: Helping your company find the missing key ingredient to have Millennials working successfully for your organization.
Challenge: You never seem to learn what actual Millennials want and what the heck is a non-Millennial Millennial anyways?!?

That is the Millennial Business Paradox (MBP).

Before we figure out all the aspects of the Millennial Business Paradox and how to use it to our advantage in business, let’s make sure we know exactly what we mean by Millennials and Non-Millennial Millennials (NMM’s).

According to PEW research, a Millennial is a person born between the years 1983 and 1998. If you were born between those years, you are a card-carrying Millennial. But wait! What about the non-Millennial Millennials?

Let’s go back to 1967. The Beatles were all the rage. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band was number one and there was a Simon and Garfunkel retrospective of all their music from Bookends to Sounds of Silence on the radio. My brother Billy had recently purchased a brand new transistor radio and listened to non-stop S&G from the moment he came home from school until 10 minutes before bedtime. Then he brushed his teeth, put on his pajamas, wrapped the chord around the transistor radio and put it in the closet where it resides to this day. William was demographically a Baby Boomer and acted like one for six whole hours and then proceeded to go back to being a “silent generation” born in the Baby Boomer years.

The same happens with Millennials. There are countless Millennials who work, walk and talk like Gen X’ers and they are for all accounts and purposes Gen X’ers. If you judge all the Millennials by them you are in for an unsuccessful relationship with the real Millennials. If you go by the poles of Millennials, you are in trouble again. Millennials scoff at poles. If they deign to fill one out, you end up with “Boaty McBoatface” as the reply. The ones really filling out the poles are the NMMs (non-Millennial Millennials).

So what should you know about Millennials?
Individualistic. No regard for our rituals. Have a real desire to make a difference. They get more “cred” from friends for working for a business that helps the world, then a better paycheck and they don’t believe a word we say… unless we can prove it to them. Relationships are earned. They prefer long-term relationships or short term ones. They want to feel that they are equal partners and if you can put up with the fact that they do things “their way” they can bring a whole new perspective to any industry.

Why are Millennials important to our companies?
Millennials are the first generation born with one foot in the Internet world and the other in the “real world”. Their whole lives have been molded by the ways of consuming the things they care about (music, movies, graphic novels, video games) has been destroyed and rebuilt in completely different ways. They are used to the impermanence of markets and yet crave the tangible quality product (think about the resurgence of LP records).They understand social media in a way that is visceral and their disdain for marketing is built-in.

Millennials know how to make your products move forward in a world where everything changes. Where mainstream media no longer captures young markets and where the next idea may come from the smallest cog in the system.

Let’s look a bit more at what is that paradox.

Most people convey knowledge in the way knowledge was taught to them. The disconnect between Gen X-er’s, Baby Boomers and Millenials (not to mention Gen Z) is the difference between living on Earth and living in the internet universe. So many of the things one takes for granted are not obvious to the other.

We may have to redefine what are the goals and tasks of a Millennial we hire and when those rubrics have been achieved to determine if there are new goals and tasks or if their tenure is complete.

So how do we embrace Millennials and rise above the Millennial Business Paradox?

The key to retaining Millennials and having them become valuable contributors to your organization lies in the art of Mentoring Millennials.

Stay tuned for our next article coming to a screen near you!

Interested in having your organization learn to Mentor Millennials?
Join the Corporate Mentoring Workshop coming soon.

Sign up now!