Improving your brand by empowering your Millennials
Millennials were once thought to be the generation of entitlement, but it turns out that as the group matures, they’re the most philanthropic in history, are tremendously responsible (preferring energy efficient homes, for example), and have more education than their predecessors.
It’s interesting that a picture has now emerged of this generation, and knowing the weaknesses of this group can strengthen your organization. For example, being digitally wired has literally re-wired the brains of Millennials, and studies show that attention spans have diminished, yet the ability to effectively multi-task is higher than other generations.
To find out how to keep this group of employees motivated, we reached out to Kris Duggan, CEO and Co-Founder of BetterWorks, a company that provides gamification and social engagement solutions to help companies influence and measure user behavior. He’s not only an adjunct professor at Singularity University, he is deeply entrenched in the startup world, living and working amongst Millennials every day.
In his own words below, Duggan offers six fresh ways to keep Millennials motivated:
1. Show them how they fit into the bigger picture
Instead of starting at a specific goal and figuring out who will contribute to it, empower millennials and individuals who are doing the work by painting a picture of how their progress relates to the bigger goal at hand. For example, with BetterWorks new Org Chart, you can instantly see what an entire team or department is working on, their current progress, and how people are working together to achieve one goal. This adds a layer of transparency to workflow.
2. Think like them
So, in a nut shell: focus on tomorrow. No matter how many perks you offer to millennials, they simply did not join your company with the intention of staying. In fact, while they might be temporarily invested, they care much more about how their current role will impact their long-term career objectives. To motivate millennials to do their job now, you have to think in the short term too. Don’t entice exclusively with long-term goals, but instead come up with daily, weekly and monthly goals that are attainable for employees even if they have a short-term mindset.
3. Explain why
Say goodbye to the day where your employees do something just because you asked them to. Millennials must understand why. Your job as a manager is to connect the dots, and by explaining why, you begin to show workers how doing something your suggested way is vital to its completion and success. Providing context behind every day tasks also explains, over time, exactly why their role within the organization matters. This in turn validates the hard work they do each day, which is motivational in itself.
4. Create a team structure that supports constant feedback
Millennials thrive on a continuous stream of feedback and iteration, both from peers and managers. Typical annual performance reviews are simple not enough for this generation. When you think about growing your team and placing particular people in leadership positions, consider how this structure supports an ongoing feedback loop. It’s impossible for millennials to rely solely on one manager for feedback, so build your team around this type of communication, and find the technology that lets you communicate feedback in real time.
5. You can set the goals, but let them figure out how to get there
Millennials require explicit guidance and direction, and crave a structure where objectives and goals are clearly defined. But at the same time, clear structure can backfire when millennials are being micromanaged into doing something a certain way. Shift from a manager to a coach after the goals are set. Employees can achieve the same results by taking an entirely different path. Giving them the freedom to think through the process independently, and determine how they plan to achieve goals, is more motivating than micromanagement. Get out of their way.
6. Don’t Lose to Google, or Siri, or Their Friends
Transparency into your company’s long term-plan and how you plan to get there has always been important, but this generation demands the details. What can you tell them that a Google search or gossip with their peers won’t? Millennials are more prone to a “grass is greener” attitude, especially when a simple “how much should an entry-level employee make in XYZ industry” takes 1 second to type in on the Google search bar. The more transparency you can provide in sensitive areas like salary and how to achieve a promotion, the more motivated they’ll be to trust you and not turn elsewhere for reassurance and motivation.
Why a well-crafted rejection email can save your brand, and your time
(BUSINESS NEWS) Job hunting is exhausting on both sides, and rejection sucks, but crafting a genuine, helpful rejection email can help ease the process for everyone.
Nobody likes to hear “no” for an answer when applying for jobs. But even fewer people like to be left in the dark, wondering what happened.
On the employer side, taking on a new hire is a time-consuming process. And like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get when you put out ads for a position. So once you find the right person for the role, it’s tempting to move along without further ado.
Benn Rosales, the CEO and co-founder of American Genius, offers an example of why that is a very bad call.
Imagine a hypothetical candidate for a job opening at Coca Cola – someone who’s particularly interested in the job, because they grew up as a big Coke fan. If they get no response to their application at all, despite being qualified and sending follow-up emails, their personal opinion of the brand is sure to sour.
“Do you know how much effort and dollars advertising and marketing spent to make [them] a fan over all of those years, and this is how it ends?” Rosales explains. This person has come away from their experience thinking “Bleep you, I’ll have tea.”
To avoid this issue, crafting a warm and helpful rejection email is the perfect place to start. If you need inspiration, the hiring consultants at Dover recently compiled a list of 36 top-quality rejection emails, taken from companies that know how to say “no” gracefully: Apple, Facebook, Google, NPR, and more.
Here’s a few takeaways from that list to keep in mind when constructing a rejection email of your own…
Include details about their resume to show they were duly considered. This shows candidates that their time, interests, and experience are all valued, particularly with candidates who came close to making the cut or have a lot of future promise.
Keep their information on file, and let them know this rejection only means “not right now.” That way, next time you need to make a hire, you will have a handy list of people to call who you know have an interest in working for you and relevant skills.
Provide some feedback, such as common reasons why applicants may not succeed in your particular application process.
And be nice! A lack of courtesy can ruin a person’s impression of your brand, whether they are a customer or not. Keep in mind, that impression can be blasted on social media as well. If your rejections are alienating, you’re sabotaging your business.
Any good business owner knows how much the details matter.
Incorporating an empathetic rejection process is an often-overlooked opportunity to humanize your business and build a positive relationship with your community, particularly when impersonal online applications have become the norm.
And if nothing else, this simple courtesy will prevent your inbox from filling up with circle-backs and follow-up emails once you’ve made your decision.
Are Gen Z more fickle in their shopping, or do brands just need to keep up?
(BUSINESS NEWS) As the world keep changing, brands and businesses have to change along with it. Some say Gen Z is fickle, but others say it is the nature of change.
We all know that if you stop adapting to the world around you, you’re going to be left behind. A recently published article decided to point out that the “fickle” Gen Z generation are liable to leave a poor digitally run site and never return. Now of course we’ve got some statistics here… They did do some kind of due diligence.
This generation, whose life has been online from almost day one, puts high stakes on their experiences online. It is how they interact with the world. It’s keyed into their self-worth and their livelihoods, for some. You want to sell online, get your shit together.
They have little to no tolerance for anything untoward. 80% of Gen Zers reported that they are willing to try new brands since the pandemic. Brand loyalty, based on in-person interaction, is almost a thing of the past. When brands are moved from around the world at the touch of your fingertips there’s nothing to stop you. If a company screws up an order, or doesn’t get back to you? Why should you stick with them? When it comes to these issues, 38% of Gen Zers say they only give a brand 1 second chance to fix things. Three-quarters of the surveyed responded saying that they’ll gladly find another retailer if the store is just out of stock.
This study goes even further though and discusses not just those interactions but also the platforms themselves. If a website isn’t easy to navigate, why should I use it? Why should I spend my time when I can flit to another and get exactly what I need instead of getting frustrated? There isn’t a single company in the world that shouldn’t take their webpage development seriously. It’s the new face of their company and brand. How they show that face is what will determine if they are a Rembrandt or a toddlers noodle art.
The new age of online shopping has been blasted into the atmosphere by the pandemic. Online shopping has boosted far and above expected numbers for obvious reasons. When the majority of your populace is told to stay home. What else are they going to do? Brands that have been around for decades have gone out of business because they didn’t change to an online format either. Keep moving forward.
Now as a side note here, as someone who falls only just outside the Gen Z zone the articles description of fickle is pompous. The stories I’ve heard of baby boomers getting waiters fired, or boycotting stores because of a certain shopkeeper are just as fickle and pointed. Nothing has changed in the people, just how they interact with the world. Trying to single out a single generation based on how the world has changed is a shallow view of the world.
Chasing Clubhouse success? How the audio chat room trend affects products
(BUSINESS NEWS) It is inevitable that when a new successful trend comes along, other companies will try to make lightning strike twice. Will the audio chat room catch on?
Businesses are always about the hot new thing. People are the always looking for the easiest dollar with the least amount of effort these days. It tends to lead to products that are shoddy and horribly maintained with the least amount of flexibility in pleasing their customers. However, you also have to look at the customer base for this as well. You follow where the money is because that’s where its being spent. It’s like a merry-go-round, constantly chasing the next thing. And the latest of these is the audio chat room.
During the pandemic the entire world saw an eruption of social audio investments. Silicon Valley has gone crazy with this new endeavor. On the 18th of April this year, Clubhouse said it closed on some new funding, which was valued at $4 billion for a live audio app. This thing is still in beta without a single penny of revenue!
The list of other companies who have pursued new audio suites (either through purchase or creation) include:
This whole new audio fad is still in its infancy. These social media and tech giants are all jumping headlong into it with who knows how much forethought. A number of them have their own issues to deal with, but they’ve put things aside to try and grab these audio chat room coattails that are running by. It’s a mix of feelings about the situation honestly. They are trying to survive and keep their customers.
If a competitor creates this new capability and they stay stagnant then they lose customers. If they do this however without dealing with their current issues then they could also lose people. It’s an interesting catch 22 for people out there. Which group do you fall in? Are you antsy for a new toy or are you waiting for one of these lovely sites to fix a problem? It’s another day in capitalism.
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