The practice of labeling an entire generation began with the raw demographics known as The Baby Boomers. As millions of young Americans returned from war, their families began having the babies they couldn’t have while separated by war. Prior to the baby boom we didn’t label generations of people, now the practice has become ubiquitous. And, in the view of many, the most maligned generation of all time is the Millennials. While making assumptions about different categories of people, especially on the grounds of something like age, is the very definition of discrimination, it can sometimes be helpful to consider perspectives attributed to other generations, which may be different than our own.
By 2020 Millennials, people born between 1981 and 1995, will represent 50% of the US workforce. They are the generation from which you’re most likely to find your future senior living executives, directors, administrators and leaders. While every generation is seen as having its defining characteristics, good and bad, there seems to be trend to cast Millennials in a more negative light than positive. What is almost always overlooked is the Millennial generation is also said to be highly passionate about social causes and communities, thereby making them excellent candidates for the senior living industry.
Why the bad reputation then? Most Millennials are managed by Baby Boomers and the two generations are as different as night and day. Millennials graduated college with a mountain of student loan debt they can’t dream of paying off, so they’ve prioritized their life differently than Baby Boomers. They don’t work to make money and pay off debt like the Baby Boomers do. Millennials spend their money and dedicate their time to hobbies and causes –things outside of work, which can bring rise to the charge that they are lazy or irresponsible.
But, Millennials focus on things outside of work is exactly what makes them ideal candidates for senior living! They want to be inspired by causes and communities, to feel like they’re making a difference and giving back, all of which happens every single day at every single senior living community. In fact, 88% of Millennials said they would not work for a company that did not align with their social values or where they were not making a difference. What if you could offer Millennials a job with a socially responsible company where they could feel passionate about making a difference in the quality of care for our nation’s aging population? You can.
To prepare yourself for the Millennial workforce, take inventory of your corporate culture. So, what makes Millennials tick professionally and how can you attract them to your company?
When creating an employer branding strategy and corporate culture, think about Millennials, and start thinking now. Creating a progressive, technology friendly, socially responsible corporate culture doesn’t happen overnight.