October 18th, 2016
The business world is obsessed with Millennials right now – and for good reason: In less than 10 years, they’ll make up 75% of the workforce. In the insurance industry almost half of today’s professionals are over age 45, with 25% of the industry expected to retire by 2018. According to some estimates, by 2020 there will be 400,000 open positions in the industry.
The Hartford has conducted several surveys of Millennials to find out what they are looking for in their careers. According to their 2015 survey, The Hartford found that 43% of millennials are looking for flexible work schedules, 40% expect benefits such as health, life, and disability insurance, and 33% would like to work for a company that offers career advancement and leadership opportunities. Millennials are also the first “digitally native” generation, meaning they have grown up with laptops, the internet, and iPhones. They’re also the first generation to be vocal in their desire to spend more time with their family and friends.
So, what does all of this mean for you and your agency? It doesn’t mean that you need to adopt an entirely new way of managing and leading, but you do need to ensure that Millennials are getting the most from your agency and that you’re getting the most from them. Here are a few absolute musts for leading Millennials.
Provide clear, realistic expectations for growth and development. Millennials want to know where they stand and how they can improve. Without a roadmap for success, you’ll be frustrated by a lack of results and they’ll be frustrated by a lack of vision.
Really try to understand their personal and professional goals. Work and life are so integrated now that Millennials want not only to grow and contribute at work, but also to grow as human beings.
Provide flexibility to cater to new working environments. Millennials believe (and are mostly correct) that work can get done anywhere at any time. If you don’t at least try to understand that mindset, you could lose smart people to companies that do. Your company doesn’t need to immediately switch to telecommuting and flextime, but providing options is important.
Provide development and training opportunities. Millennials want to grow and become more knowledgeable in their work. They see the experience of training and development as a clear way to achieve those goals.
Focus on building and measuring effectiveness. Millennials crave feedback and are driven by metrics. Perhaps set up a weekly meeting with your new hire to find out how they’re adjusting. This can be a great way to see in what areas they may need more training and development.
No matter what your opinion is about Millennials, the fact is they are the future of not just your business, but every business in every industry. Take a good look at what you offer prospective employees and what those employees desire and plan accordingly.