The young professionals you will be trying to attract to your organization today are members of Generation Y, also known as Millennials. Understanding this technologically savvy group of professionals can be quite difficult without knowing and understanding how they operate in the working world. It’s clear that young professionals take a different and often times non-traditional approach to the office. There can sometimes lead to tension and frustration between the generations in the workforce.
In an effort to gain a better understanding this group, MEDA sent out a survey to two groups, wanting to get their input about what they think are some perceived differences between the age groups, and how they work with each other. Based on the data, we formulated a mission and a vision to provide opportunities for networking and education for young professionals in the economic development profession. This will also help us with the framework for education and networking sessions going forward.
One of the interesting things we learned is that Millennials have a drastically different outlook on what they expect from their employment experience. Young professionals are increasingly looking at Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) when considering which companies and brands they might work for. Some young professionals value a caring and responsible employer above their own salary. This is not to say that money is not a motivator, because let’s face it, money motivates all generations. Another interesting finding is that Millennials often times prefer a flexible schedule. A large number of young employees favor working through their lunch breaks in order to leave work early. Depending on the type of job, there may also the option to work from home. These workers were raised in the era of 24/7 connectivity, wireless access, and with the ability to work wherever and whenever it suits them.
The reality is that there needs to be some structure, so it’s important to communicate your expectations. Young employees want to learn from you and receive your daily feedback. They want your leadership and supervision, to learn about how the company works from the source. They are a generation used to recognition and reward. Young employees will return your investment in them with their enthusiasm.
I think the biggest thing we can take away from the survey and experiences, is that it’s important to keep an open mind and don’t assume anything.
MEDAYP is hosting their first young professional’s education session followed by a networking opportunity. Join us for this special half-day event where topics were chosen by young professionals in economic development for their peers. Sessions will be led by experienced economic developers. After sessions, enjoy the opportunity to meet and mingle with other young and early-career economic developers.
Date: March 21st
Time: Registration Opens at 12:30 pm
Program Begins at 1:00 pm
Adjourns at 5:30 pm
Location: Crowne Plaza Lansing West, 925 S. Creyts, Lansing, MI 48917
Fees: MEDA Member $35
Click Here for More Information and to Register
In addition to this event, MEDAYP launched the Get Hired for a Day Pilot Program, a volunteer program will allow young professionals engaged in economic development the opportunity to spend time with a Mentor, networking and learning about the job market and economic development in Michigan. Check out the website for more information.
Authored by: Stephanie Carroll, Coord., Community Relations & Legislative Affairs, City of Auburn Hills. Stephanie serves as Co-Chair of MEDA’s Young Professionals Group, MEDAYP