4 Reasons Millennials are motivated Differently By Justin Lafazan and Adedayo Fashanu

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Statistics according to the PEW Research show that Millennials are the largest generation alive today.  There are 75.3 million alone in the U.S – evitable the biggest generation of customers according to Forbes and now account for the largest share of U.S workers according to CNN . Pew Research states that millennials are the largest generation in the U.S labor force and in the next 5 years employers will have over 70% of Millennials working for them.

 It is crucial to understand what our millennial generation is all about and what motivates this next generation to stay engaged, empowered and highly motivated especially in the work place. While most of us Millennials dream of being our own bosses and entrepreneurs instead of working for others-as evidenced in a recent survey that showed only 15% of class 2015 said they would prefer to work for large corporations – inevitably we would still have to be employees of some Fortune 500 company, or a new tech startup or even a small business or a privately owned company in a small town or a government agency. Millennials are going to be hired in every sector regardless, we will form 50% of the global workforce by 2020 and we are not playing by the old rules of work as it has been researched by several global studies by PWC , PEW Research , Whitehouse studies on this new generation and many more; what motivates Millennials to be productive in a work place is very different than the motivating factor of past generations. Between now and the next five years, organizations that truly intend seeing growth and productivity in their companies would have to adhere to the shaping culture of the millennial generation and make engaging changes that will no doubt lead to a win-win for both parties…. 

Why should organizations care? What makes this generation different? Why are there global studies constantly being conducted on this next generation, our buying and spending habits are being understood by researchers, our relationship habits, or work habits and much more are being studied and are under the radar- but WHY? Why does this matter? 

Justin Lafazan,  the co-author of this piece is a 19year old millennial who has founded three companies, given three TEDxtalks, featured on Forbes, USA Today and Entrepreneur Magazine; and consulted with Fortune 500 companies as well as countless entrepreneurs, he also founded the Next Generation Summit and Next Gen Ventures; he insists that our millennial generation has to be approached more strategically. Justin’s Next Gen summit he created is about bringing together the worlds most successful millennials and connecting them in meaningful ways to achieve mutually beneficial success. From both of our journeys and experiences in being voices of change in our millennial generation, noticing the rate at which our millennial generation is being shaped and a new culture is quickly emerging; we brainstormed trying to better understand the “WHY” behind our levels of motivation that makes us uniquely different.

Millennials are motivated Differently by:

1. Global Initiatives/ Global Thinking/ Global Awareness : The top of the list reason that came up for us while analyzing the reason behind why we millennials are motivated differently was “THINK GLOBAL”; According to Lafazan, “millennials are in the habit of thinking globally because of their upbringing in an internationally connected world” He says, former generations focused on local impact while millennials want global scale because we are armed with the power to impact more, and we are trying to leverage that. Impact, he says helps millennials take big goals and turn them into actionable steps but know that they want to have that large reach.

No doubt, I share similar notion with Lafazan; our crave to see the world, our desire to garner a variety of experiences from working/travelling overseas are motivating factors that makes us uniquely different. Beyond that, organizations whose focus is on global growth can also use our motivating factor of global awareness as a potential resource for them and as a way to engage with the millennials working for them. “Armed with Power to impact more” is due to the technology we have access to today which makes us more of a global world building global and international mindset- other than our upbringing in an international world –  It is apparent that millennials  also just feel an underlining fear at the crisis the world faces, so it’s not just that past generation thought locally but also that our trying times leave us with no option but to feel pressure to act, be more globally aware and develop more global initiatives because – If we don’t who will? Our  awareness of these issues and how we feel affected serves to motivate us to action… But do all Millennials across all regions equally feel this way? 

2. Social Impact-Oriented : Today, Young people are the most socially conscious generation in history and many value impact over salary. In a recent global survey according to PWC, 73% of millennials agree that once that basic requirements on pay are met; salary may not be their main consideration but rather making impact, working in a positive environment and feeling like the work they do is meaningful to the world is what they value the most other than salary. Lafazan says that young people have discovered that there really does exist an intersection between profit and impact.

Indeed Millennials are impact oriented and who ever invented the term social entrepreneurship must be a genius because this generation is the definition of social entrepreneurship and meaningful work. Lafazan says that sexist brands like Toms and Warby Parker do both for profit and Impact- Toms was one of the originators of the trend with their one for one model and several have adopted it. Brands now have stories behind them not just mindless merchandise being sold. But I wonder, what’s the shift? The millennial generation is a more mindful generation geared towards impact which serves as the reason behind their motivation; if we facilitate this conversation of social entrepreneurshio, keep millennials focused on the impact they make – inevitable that they will remain engaged and empowered.

3. Fun and enjoyment: Lafazan and I believe that Fulfillment and satisfaction is more and more important to our millennial generation, studies have shown that millennials would rather work for organizations that give them creative freedom, perks that allow them to be innovative and garner lively experiences;  hence the new obsession with startups because even if the pay is not high with a millennial either working for a startup or creating their own; the job still remains attractive because they can leverage the perks of doing what they actually enjoy and having fun doing it, being able to be creative and feel like they are doing something meaningful in the process.

It is more than apparent that today, our millennial generation wants leisure work and that is in no way a negative desire; what it is, is that majority Millennials relate with the idea where work doesn’t feel like work but it’s experienced in leisure and where leisure doesn’t completely feel like a waste of time.. With no productivity; it’s redefining how we have fun, enjoy work and doing something meaningful with our time.


4. Social Connectedness and relationships

Conscious. Meaningful. Epic. Adventurous. Engaging. We are motivated by a different level of social connectedness that makes us feel less alone in our strive to make meaning of our lives. We are the most connected generation and that plays a huge role in how mindful we are about our relationships. As for organizations, they can create productive levels of engagement-and indulge a sharing, transparent atmosphere that fosters positive relationship and the growth of team building with the right investment.

 And to that end, Lafazan has created Next Gen Summit as a way of building bridges between the best, brightest and most motivated millennials in the world. He describes it as an environment for the most successful young people in ALL fields to come together and get the resources they need to be successful, including education, inspiration and investment. Through his dealing with the thousands of millennials in the NGS community, as well as the dozens that work for his organizations, Lafazan joins me in highlighting the ‘millennial dynamic’ and how things just aren’t the way they used to be. As for me, I can’t wait to get my book “Art of Being Alive” into the hands of millennials globally, it explores what leads to a meaningful life in our millennial generation; the relevance and timeliness of this body of work cannot be overstated.

Bottom lines / takeaways

· millennials are different, stop treating us the same

· if properly leveraged, millennials can be more efficient and more productive

· most entrepreneurial generation 

– Millennials value meaningfulness in everything they do

For more conversation, follow us on twitter @adedayofashanu and @justinlafazan

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