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More on the Millies - Gen Y or Millennials

Someone told me today that the Millennials are the Video generation.  When they are done with the game they can hit "start over" and begin a new game and forget all about the one they were playing.  This mentality apparently is spilling over into the workforce because leaders are complaining about the high turnover of this group, and anyone who is in the corporate world knows that the cost of turnover is 2 to 10 times the salary of that job.  I heard today about a big organization that is investing millions into their Millennial talent.  They are providing a leadership coach to all their high potentials and investing in them using tools, methodologies and mediums that are meaningful to them.  This organization is going out of their way to ensure that the skills and experience the coaches have are compatible with the Millies.  That they have an open mind and believe that they bring something truly positive and that once you connect with them and show you respect them for what they bring, they are in your pocket.  They want to exude a sense of loyalty to the talent and are optimistic about their loyalty in return.  It would benefit us to understand the future leaders of our world and this writer is passionate about learning more about them and helping them prepare to take on more.

In the book Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation by Neil Howe and William Strauss, they site surveys that show this group is optimistic, happy, confident and positive. Socio-economics taken into consideration, they worry less about violence, sex and drugs than previous generations.  Millennials are not the self-absorbed brats that some managers and supervisors claim they are, they were raised to be cooperative team players with community service and working with others and a collective power mindset.  They have a passion for the environment and believe it is their generation that is being raised to make a difference.  They are smart, too.  They grew up with computers before they could even pronounce the word. Health, preventative care and nutrition have taken a more important role than that of the Gen X group.  Their school fire drills are about preparing for attacks with events like  Columbine, 9/11, Oklahoma City bombing, the DC Sniper and Virginia Tech as benchmarks. Other influencing factors were the OJ Simpson trial, Rodney King riots, Clinton impeachment, Monica Lewinsky scandal, and Princess Di's death are all events the shaped this era according to a Class of 2000 survey.  Active military deployments in the Persian Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan are commonplace.

I want to encourage our current leaders to embrace this emerging audience.  A bit of encouragement to nurture that optimism is not a lot to ask.  How we had to scratch our way up is not how they intend to live their lives.  They are here, and they do not have the propensity to be "here to stay" if the organizational culture is questionable.  We need to make that effort to give them a reason to stay.  Telling them "you're lucky to have a job" ain't it.  Game over.

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