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The Mind of the Millennial // Knowledge is Half the Battle

Posted On: December 9, 2014

Millennials. Getting to know what inspires them and what repels them can change the way you conduct business for the better. Millennials are not a subspecies to study, though they are the closest things to a super species as we can get and they’re likely the future of your company so it really is in your best interest to get to know this powerful generation. 

The best way to remember anything is with the ever-useful acronym. Fittingly Millennials are some of the biggest acronym users on the planet (LOL, BRB, LMK, OMG, IRL). In an effort to put you directly in touch with Millennials we encourage you to tap one and ask what one of those acronyms means if you are unable to decipher them. 

Our Millennial decoder is memorable and accurate. However, Millennials will not, as a rule, be distinctly defined because the range of diversity in this generation is so vast as to be impervious. Millennials are DDSSCC: Digital Natives, Diverse, Skeptics, Seekers, Community-minded and Creators. DDSSCC…let’s decode.

Digital Natives: This is the generation whom has grown up with the Internet. They don’t need training on how to use the latest and greatest technology—their native status on this planet, which is the Internet, means they are attuned to what works and what doesn’t. They want simple, beautiful, smart interfaces; they want useful tools that bring them empowerment. More important for this generation often blamed for being entitled and self-interested is a digital experience that is personal.

Workplace translation: prepare an online and physical worksite presence that is smart, efficient and technologically savvy.

Diverse: Millenials, born between 1980 and 2000, are a wonderfully diverse generation (last count in 2012 says there about 80 million Millennials in the US). Diversity in race, but especially in what it means to announce their differences and embrace them, are the monikers of this generation. More and more Millennials seek to be recognized for all their cultural and ethnic diversity choosing “multiracial” in checkboxes rather than being pigeonholed into one group.

Workplace translation: in hiring, pay attention to the culture created by the team you gather.

Skeptics: Millennials will question actions. They are interested in how the actions of their bosses, elected officials, parents, peers, world leaders and companies are affecting their lives and the lives of the people around them. Millennials as skeptics is a powerful attribute because they’re no longer interested in standing passively by while much of what they’re invested in (empowerment, personal experiences, acceptance) is tampered with.

Workplace translation: offer opportunities for employees to voice opinions…and then for those opinions to be heard.

Seekers: Millennials are seeking improvement, betterment, and a refreshing and smarter way to approach life. They have a high intelligence for aesthetics in the digital landscape because they have access to how others live, what they have and how they operate. If there isn’t recognizable growth, change or transformation around them they’ll bore and move on.

Workplace translation: Millennials will move on if their workplace lacks an inspiring reason to stay so build in growth opportunities.

Community: Millennials have a deep sense of their responsibility for the Earth. Because they have immediate access to a global marketplace they are interested in opportunities for them to be a contribution to a wider community and to be members of a powerful community.

Workplace translation: corporate responsibility is a huge draw for Millennial employees. Anything that builds community while acknowledging the global impact will compel staff and it’s just good business.

Creators: This generation is filled to bursting with creators. They make up the single largest group of consistent content creators on the planet. They’re developing powerful ideas and translating them into products, words and apps that create the spaces to empower others, save the planet, entertain, pay attention, build communities, and open pathways for discovery.

Workplace translation: cultivate an environment where creativity is fostered. Harness the minds of your Millennial employees and prepare for the birth of your company’s next innovation.

Even if you remember and focus on just one facet of the Millennial, the way you approach your workplace environment is sure to transform. Being mindful of the Millennial’s orientation to this world can bridge the ever-widening gap between your generation and theirs.