There are countless articles, blog posts, slideshares and books on Millennials telling us how to engage them, manage them, communicate with them, and relate to them. Heck, I’ve even wrote about them a year ago in my “Leveraging Millennials To Improve Customer Experience” post.
Many times when the business focuses on Millennials it creates a barrier between the generations in their workforce… and that is quite unfortunate. The way we speak and campaign internally to our employees has backfired many times. I hear comments like: Why is management focusing on them? Why not make them conform? Why are they so special? I have seen co-workers and managers rolling their eyes each time the M-word is used. It’s time to breakdown those barriers.
It’s time for all of us Gen-Y’ers, Boomers and Traditionalists to realize that we have come of age and to admit that we are Millennials, too.
Starting today let's embrace our inner Millennial selves. Let's celebrate it, join our Millennial hands with others, and move forward to a great journey ahead .
Check out this article from Forbes 2015 Is The Year Of The Millennial Customer: 5 Key Traits These 80 Million Consumers Share. It’s an insightful, quick read byMicah Solomon. He covers these 5 traits in detail:
1. Millennials expect technology to simply work
2. Millennials are a social generation
3. They collaborate and cooperate
4. They’re looking for adventure
5. They’re passionate about values
Even if you are 40, 50 or 60 years old I bet you resemble most, if not all, of Solomon's 5 Millennial traits. Think about it – we all use technology to stay connected, pay bills, go on vacation and watch TV shows. We all Google every “how to” question before we read a manual. Our attention spans have shortened - no one watches commercials on TV. We demand everything to be quick, easy, and online. Are you texting yet? Yes, you are. Are you staying connected to family, friends, co-workers, and school mates on social media? Yes! How do you share photos? I bet it’s not in a photo album. How do you listen to music – on a CD player?
Do you find yourself asking “why” a whole lot more? It's because you have changed. Stuff has to make practical sense and it has to be easy or you're not doing it. Are you sending movie tickets and boarding passes to your i-devices? Yes! And how many i-devices are in your charging in your home every night? Are you Tweeting and Yelping at the sign of any dissatisfaction? Uh-huh. You are a Millennial!
You might not match the age group, but you match the behavior and perspective. Face it and embrace it. It’s a wonderful feeling.
Now that we are enlightened, we need to change our talk tracks in the gym, the office, the church, school, stores, the golf course and at home. It’s always a good time to change the way we relate to one another when the reason is to understand each other, get along better and to stop alienating one another. It will improve our relationships and our stress levels.
At work we need to revamp our training methods, onboarding, recruiting, interviewing, tools, soft skills, processes and management styles becausethe current ones are outdated or even obsolete - not because there’s a younger generation out there. It’s just the right thing to do. These changes are actually improvements. And these improvements are for everyone regardless of generation. Let’s stop saying these changes are for the Millennials – these improvements benefit all of us and will make all of us happier and more fulfilled.
The best thing a Boomer or Gen-Y’er can do to get professional edge in a career is to embrace your inner Millennial (and the one IM’ing you in the cube next to you) and realize you are part of the Millennial workforce. You are not so different. Face it. Embrace it. Share it. Make it your own.
And here’s the bonus… once you embrace your inner Millennial and the one next to you, you will start to understand your customer better. You will start to see how similar you are to your customers.
It will be easier for you to take a walk in your customers' shoes and improve the products you sell and the service you provide.
We are all Children of the new Millennium. We have come of age. Face it. Embrace it. Make it your own.
What are you doing to embrace your inner Millennial and those around you? This change has zero cost and a high impact. How do you think this perspective change can improve CX, your business and your life? I want to know.