Millennials make up 50 percent of the North American work force, and are growing.  This is impacting B4T businesses. This fact was reflected in the fact that over 50% of the attendees at the two recent OPEN Huddles in Turkey and the Middle East were under the age of 35.  This is continuing a series on the topic of millennials in B4T.

Millennials are game changers. They are changing the ways a B4T business grows and nurtures its employees. Core to this is how millennials view relationships with their employers. Millennials see their relationship with their boss more of a partnership, one that is equitable and satisfying to both people. Millennials do not want to work for a company, instead, they desire to work with companies.

B4T business owners tend to be older (50+) and therefore more conservative.  As the number of young people move into strategic roles, business owners and bosses need to grasp the value and understand the differences millennials bring to the workplace.  Often the work ethics of the millennial do not fit that of the traditional B4T business model. Understanding, clear expectations and leadership are key to getting the most out new workers. Here are 3 more things to understand about millennials and how they wish to work.

Create Flexibility

Millennials long to control their own schedule. In the office that means, “Let’s get more done in less time.” With books like The 4-Hour Work Week, written in their formative years, this generation values free time and expects to work with companies that do the same. A flexible work schedule that meets the personal needs of the young worker is desired. Though clearly not all companies can work flex hours, smart B4Ters see the value of setting hours to fit their young talent.

Create Opportunity

Perks and benefits alone won’t satisfy millennials. Offering a cool work space, free meals, and other perks won’t satisfy your younger employees, especially when those things are offered in exchange for an intense work environment with long hours and highly stressful, competitive team environments. Millennials prioritize opportunity, opportunity to grow in their business skills, opportunity to make valuable contributions to the business, and opportunity to bless others in Jesus’ name. Such opportunities are the priorities that enable the millennial to feel satisfied and successful as a whole. Work to ensure jobs and/or company benefits are framed around the wellness of employees – spiritually, physically and mentally.

Create Community

Boomers tend to uplift the goals of their community over personal goals. As discussed 2 weeks ago, millennials tend to view life and set goals based first and foremost around themselves. Therefore it is essential to strive not to focus on building a corporate culture, or a business culture, as it implies employees must try to fit themselves in something someone else controls. Rather create an atmosphere of building a “corporate community,” so employees feel accepted and encouraged to be themselves. This subtle shift in HR perspective is central to connecting millennials with others. Use the company’s core values and mission as a guide, to create community so that decisions about how employees may best support one another are driven by the community.

Younger people – millennials, whatever you want to call them – they’re looking for meaning in life and especially in their work. Remember, millennials do not want to work for a company; instead, they desire to work with companies. B4T provides a cause that is meaningful and creates ways for them to work with others to express their love for Jesus cross-culturally. Millennials will lay down their lives via your people and your business, if they sense there is flexibility, opportunity to grow, and a community to be a part of.

 

 

PATRICK LAI and his family have worked in SE Asia for other 37 years. His experience in doing business with Jesus has brought him to understand the meaning of work and worship in the marketplace. He started 14 businesses in four countries, six of which are still operating. Patrick and his wife, May, mentor and coach businesspeople working where there are few or no Christians. Check out Patrick’s latest book, Workship, now available in paperback and e-book.