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How Hip is Your Agency?

Is your agency relevant in the eyes of a Millennial? I’m sure being “hip” is not central to the mission of your organization, but did you know that Millennials will comprise 75% of the workforce by 2025? So, appealing to this demographic is certainly essential.

But, how can your agency – especially if it’s steeped in tradition – shake off the cobwebs and attract young talent? A recent survey from Deloitte sheds light on what Millennials look for in potential employers. Essentially, they’re looking for organizations that foster innovative thinking, develop their skills, and make positive social impacts.

According to the survey, six in ten Millennials cited a “sense of purpose” as part of the reason they chose their current employers. This likely holds true for other demographics as well, but Millennials definitely diverge from some older generational ideas that prioritize stability and salary first. This mindset was further emphasized when the survey asked respondents to list the organizational factors they consider most important. Top factors included an organization’s:

  • Treatment of its employees
  • Overall impact on society
  • Financial performance
  • Record for creating innovative products or services
  • Presence of a well-defined and meaningful purpose

Despite the more traditional factor of financial performance, there is an overarching theme of empathy and the ability to make a difference. This holds true for Millennials’ views on leadership characteristics, as well.

They don’t look to the traditional notions of a visible, well-networked, and technically-skilled leader. Especially unpopular were characteristics of being “driven by financial results” and having an “autocratic” approach. Those traits received scores ranging from 6% to 19%. Instead, Millennials view true leaders as strategic thinkers, inspirational, personable, visionary, and passionate/enthusiastic. These traits received scores ranging from 30% to 39%.

When you look into the survey’s methodology, another interesting detail is revealed. The study collected views of more than 7,800 Millennials from 29 countries. Participants were born after 1982, have obtained a college or university degree, and are employed full-time. What was particularly attention-grabbing, though, is that the respondents predominantly work in private-sector organizations.

This is a sign that government needs to do a better job at marketing and promoting public service. Highly educated, skilled Millennials want to have a sense of purpose in their careers and make a difference. Government enables such a career in many amazing ways which other sectors cannot. Therefore, a significant opportunity is presented for government to access massive untapped potential.

So, for any public managers out there who may feel awkwardly out-of-touch with the Millennial workforce, you most likely have much more to offer them than you’d think. It seems government is pretty hip, after all.

 

Photo credit: Bill Dickinson, Flickr.

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Rena

Great article! The list of important organizational factors really resonates with me and sets up a great set of standards for all organizations to strive toward.

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