Shaping The Future Of Corporate America

Privileged, needy, entitled and lazy are just a few of the adjectives erroneously used to describe younger Millennials. On the contrary, they are team players, driven, passionate and more tech savvy than any other generation. Born between 1982 and 2000, this generation is estimated at over 80 million strong in the U.S. alone and is spilling out of high schools and colleges, and into a workplace near you.

Today's teens are "cyber." They are pushing the envelope even more than their first-wave Millennial counterparts to ensure an attractive and comfortable workplace. Flexible work hours, corporate and social responsibility programs, teamwork, casual attire, wellness benefits and innovative technologies are just some of the items on their must-have list.

This group is single-handedly changing the way we look at the work-life balance. "How does my work fit into my life?" (rather than "How does my life fit into my work?") is quickly becoming their mantra. With this new challenge, how are companies marketing themselves and rising to the level that these teens demand?

Many companies are definitely not ready for this shift and are finding that with the "cyber" Millennials, they must be that much more prepared. Today's youth thrives on telling the world about themselves via blogs, Facebook, MySpace, YouTube and Flickr. The need for self-expression has become a huge part of their lives.

Companies like Zappos have proven successful in marketing to teens with its YouTube videos and launch of Zappos TV, further tapping into that need. Zappos TV features videos of real employees having real fun, whether at their trainee graduation, office ice cream party, marshmallow eating contest or parade. What young person wouldn't want to work at a company like that?

More employers are realizing the importance of recruiting younger Millennials on their own terms, recognizing that creating a better strategy of attracting young people will serve them in the future. Only a few short years ago businesses rejected the idea of changing to fit the needs of older Millennials, also known as Gen Y; It was felt that Gen Y should change to fit the current model. Now, with Baby Boomers ready to retire, companies are realizing that they are the ones who need to change.

Loyalty to an organization seen in previous generations is now a thing of the past. It is estimated that a Millennial will average between six to eight careers in their lifetime, creating an even more urgent need for strategic marketing and retention plans, since turnover can end up costing an organization thousands in recruitment efforts.

Young Millennials are changing the way we look at the workplace and how we live our lives. Companies will need to adapt and find ways to tap into this generation's creativity if they want to keep them interested in working in a corporate environment.

Tags: teens
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