I’ll let you in to a secret… Xilnex is powered by Millennials. You know there has been much talk about Millennials in the media recently and if you don’t already know, it is about our bad reputation (notice I wrote our, because yes, I am part of that category as well). An article in the New York Times stated that Millennials lacked values such as integrity and honesty. There are other findings online that say Millennials are lazy, entitled brats (ouch) and really, getting on the nerves of Baby Boomers.
But hey, that hatin’ has got to stop. Although some of the Millennials have brought such a bad rep to the generation, we’ve got to stand by the fact that the times are different. Growing up in a world saturated with the advancements of digital technology, we are just different, not bad.
Whatever it is, it is safe to say that now, that the world is being dominated by Millennials. In fact, they are the ones that are making start-ups mushroom after a spring shower. So Millennials and non-Millennials, maybe it’s time to learn a little more about these blooming generation that has got everyone in a fix. You probably have hired a couple of them and are also reaching out to them through your business.
This is for you.
1 . Working with Millennials
- Present a Challenge
If there is one thing that you would notice with Millennials is probably how distracted they are. But on the flipside, if you were to look at it positively, you’d see that they are actually multitasking pros and can juggle many demands almost at once. They’ve had practice running several apps on their mobile, chatting and probably walking down the road at the same time. Because of this, they are easily bored with mundane work and possibly unchallenged.
Therefore, when working with Millennials, we recommend being upfront with your company’s expectations. Better still; establish goals for them that they can work towards. There is nothing better to drive them to complete a variety of tasks, hitting their work goals for the week. Try to strike a good balance between boring them and overworking them. Instead of setting rules that prohibit them from using their mobiles or the many gadgets they have, put them on a challenge that will make them forget about it altogether. In general, Millennials have possess a ‘can-do’ attitude and look for affirmation from the things they do (you can thank social media for that).
- Provide Direction and Coordinates
Maybe it’s the type of education that has shaped Millennials to what they are today. Although it looks like a trend that these Millennials don’t like to play by old fashioned rules, prefer to start of companies by presenting their ideas to investors or prove to be unmotivated in a structured workplace, they can actually function excellently… when guided accordingly.
Not like they are clueless (trust me, if they are, there’s always Google), it’s just that these Millennials seek leadership from workmates (and superiors) and will want to contribute ideas as well. This generation craves a work life balance and want to know what is in store when they enter the working field. It is best if you, as the employee can provide them with time for themselves after working hours, a destination or goal in the career they are building in your company and the possible opportunities it can present. This is because they are not going to waste their time doing something that is not going to benefit them in the future.
- Get to Know Them
The power gap is closing in at the workplace and the dynamics in the office is unlike what it was before. Millennials are entering the workforce in greater numbers and are not afraid to jump on the next band wagon that has better offers. To Millennials, change is the only constant. If their current job is not fulfilling, or if they find that their learning curve is plateauing, they often feel that it is time for them to move on to something that offers them better pay and hopefully, a good challenge.
Therefore, if you worry that the Millennials you have hired would not stay with you for long enough; it is time to get to know them. Some contribute for a season and some for a very long time depending on how accomplished they feel with the company. Also, it really depends on their goals and dreams, no matter how accomplished a Millennial feels in your firm, if the path does not lead to their end goal, they will leave chasing after it. Hence, get to know them, their dreams and aspirations, if you can build that, help them and they will stay and do well. However, the workplace has no place to build it, just be a good boss and let them go when the time comes.
2. Selling to Millennials
- Visual Consumers
Welcome to the world that runs digitally whenever possible. And now with Millennials being the biggest spenders, boosting the economy today, it is good to know what attracts their attention. It comes to no surprise that today, the generation has been conditioned to make decisions involving purchases via the screen. This means that they do try to avoid the hassle of getting to a brick-and-mortar to get the items they need. So in what way do you convince them about your item or service if they won’t enter your store? It is through visuals. This is why your company should start using social media effectively. Be relevant and the Millennials will keep you relevant. Update your products, services and sometimes, just give a shout out because we Millennials have got out noses buried in our mobile devices.
- Instant All the Time
‘Shape up, or ship out’ used to be a popular phrase used to inspire people to do better or lose out on the better things in life. Well, it still plays true today. Today, Millennials are paying for products and services differently from 10 years ago. It’s not just swiping credit cards, its waving for almost everything. Small business? Well, you are not spared as well. If you want to attract and keep Millennial buyers, you have to make it easy for them because the digital world has… in a way ‘spoilt’ them. What’s more? They are pushing the limit by expecting social media to link towards a purchase. See it as a blessing or a curse but that’s how it is going to be from now. But no worries, it’s really easy to get a system that will do just that. Here’s where I promote our Xilnex software, but really, it does help with all your payments. It does not matter if it is an online payment or an in-store payment by card (this includes debit, credit and loyalty cards), your inventory is synced. Plus, we can cater to prepaid or gift cards that enhance loyalty experience for your customers.
- Don’t Sell, Influence
Like I said earlier, marketing and advertising works; but it isn’t working like it was before. Millennials have been bombarded by advertising and marketing gimmicks of all kind, you can say that as of now, the silver bullet theory is not at its optimal function. Now, Millennials are more concerned about reviews, people who have used it and basically, it’s presence in social media. Word of mouth will not get you far, if at all. Nowadays, companies pay for influencers to do a breakthrough for their product or services. Some send samples to social media influencers in hopes that they will do a review and showcase your product to thousands of avid fans and followers. The magic word these days, it’s not PR and marketing, many a time, it’s the influencers that get the job done. No influencers, it’s time to hike up your brand by creating a social media that connects to your customers at a personal level. Millennials value authenticity and transparency which advertising does not really offer.