Millennials

Modernizing Your Mentality: Advocacy and Superheroes

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October 2 @ 12:36 pm CDT

A common motif in pop culture today is that of the superhero. Growing up, comic books were coveted by my peers, and today, many of those stories have been adapted into books, TV shows, and films. In recent years, the Marvel Universe and DC Comics have produced countless films whose storylines center around heroes. These characters have abilities beyond those of ordinary people and use those powers to enact positive change. They are the ultimate advocates for a cause. When it comes to your association, who are the heroes at the center of your story? It may come as a surprise, your NextGen members can be your greatest superpower. They have the potential to be your most powerful advocates by garnering support for the causes most important to your organization.   Much of my work centers around young people. In my work with Gen X and Gen Zers via think tanks, surveys, focus groups, and interviews, a “hero mentality” presents itself consistently. Young people today believe that they have a personal responsibility to make meaningful change and an impact on the world. This hasn’t always been the case – so what’s changed? Thanks to 24/7 news coverage and the advent of social media, young people are highly aware of the world’s injustices. If you work with (or are currently raising) adolescents, you likely know that the childhood experience has been forever changed by technology and the constant access to information it provides. The last two decades have been some of the most disruptive in our nation’s history. Those who grew up in this era experienced a host of radical changes, including an economic recession, the war on terror, climate change, a pandemic, and human rights issues – to name a few. As a result, they’ve become global thinkers and are well educated about the issues we are facing. They feel compelled and inspired to influence positive change. In recent years, we’ve seen more young people than ever…

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Millennial Nomads

Millennial Nomads, and how it could affect retaining employees…

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October 2 @ 12:36 pm CDT

According to a survey conducted by AfterCollege networking site, 59% of current job seekers look for a flexible work schedule from a prospective employer, while 70% said they’re more likely to accept a job if there’s the option to work from home at least one day a week. Both of these rank second to work/life balance. So, how is the Millennial Nomad lifestyle possibly affecting your work culture? A Millennial Nomad, someone who sees themselves as an explorer, a thinker, a person who embodies being wanderlust and doesn’t necessarily have one single place they call home. It’s the stories you read about where a person buys a van, redoes it, and then travels the countryside. But it’s also people who, in their workplace, have the option to work remotely, so they do. According to a survey conducted by AfterCollege networking site, 59% of current job seekers are looking for a flexible work schedule from a prospective employer, while 70% said they’re more likely to accept a job if there’s the option to work from home at least one day a week. Both of these rank second to work/life balance. Now, as more and more Millennials ditch the corporate 9-5 for this nomadic lifestyle, other Millennials have taken notice and built companies around helping more people become Millennial or Digital Nomads. Take for instance companies such as WiFly Nomads or The Remote Experience. These are two, of many, companies that give you the option to work remotely from a chosen destination with 20 or so other like-minded individuals. You can take your passion to travel, skip the van living, and work remotely from some paradise halfway around the world. And if your work doesn’t offer remote work, well, they’ll help you find a job that does! It’s like studying abroad in college, but now you’re studying abroad for work. And Baby Boomers, I know what you’re probably thinking, this is just an excuse for the younger generation to get out of work. But,…

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The Importance of Providing Millennials Flexibility in the Workplace

The Importance of Providing Millennials Flexibility in the Workplace

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October 2 @ 12:36 pm CDT

Engaging and retaining Millennial members and workers means shedding Industrial Era thinking and offering flexibility. Here are three ideas that Millennials (and Gen Zers) would love. Flexibility has been shown to increase productivity and the quality of work. If employers want to keep Millennials it is crucial to figure out ways to bring more flexibility into the workplace. Flexibility is the preferred work environment that Millennials choose for themselves. It is important for employers to not become frustrated with “changing up the workplace” to accommodate younger generations. Industrial Era environments respond with statements like, “This is how it’s always been done.” Future-focused companies in the post-Industrial Era seek employee feedback and adapt as necessary. Working from Home This is largely due to how they were raised. Remember, Millennials grew up in homes with helicopter parents. They are the most protected, supervised generation in history. And my generation, Generation Z, has also been raised in close relationship to our coaches and parents.  We’ve been asked to share our opinions since childhood and we’ve influenced household purchasing decisions. So the last thing we want is a job where we’re treated as though we can’t be trusted or need constant supervision. Millennials and Zs naturally crave more flexibility with projects and workplaces that allow us to learn how to make decisions for ourselves. Dress Codes To younger generations, expressing your individuality is important. As a result, dressing ourselves has become more like an art. Dress codes in the workforce indicated what was acceptable for previous generations to wear to work. However, Millennials and Zs are looking for a place where we can be ourselves. We want to be free to express ourselves in other ways besides black dress pants and a blouse. Allowing us to choose an outfit that best represents our sense of style is yet another level of flexibility. Of course, this does not mean going as far as allowing anyone to dress inappropriately. We just want…

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