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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Attracting the Younger Generations to this Community

Last Week, I spoke before the Hickory City Council in relation to what the Millennial Generation wants from a community. As many know who have followed this site, I have pressed this issue since before the inception of the Hickory Hound. I saw anecdotal evidence of the losses of the younger generations from family and friends leaving the area to seek opportunities elsewhere. Generation X and Y have been saying thanks, but no thanks to this community for a while now.

The local Powers that Be argued against what I was espousing. To put it simply, they said it was easier to target/market to/recruit what they termed active Seniors. Many of the PTB said it was nearly impossible to get the younger people to stay here, as though we should just give up. The economy and the demographics continued to worsen until they came to a realization... hey, maybe we need to try and get more young people to come and hang around here. Problem is that they are taking shots in the dark to make that happen. Deal is that it's more about the mindset around here than anything else, but what would one expect when 60 and 70 year olds are calling all the shots and their hired guns are only interested in keeping those millionaire style paychecks flowing. And following orders is easier to keep that happening, than taking chances, saying what needs to be said, and doing what needs to be done. We have to have policies that move us towards the goal. Instead what I have seen is the same ole local good ole boy economics, where it's not about buttering the bread, but about whose bread is going to get buttered.

I put this article together so that you will understand that what I spoke about last week wasn't off the top of my figmented imagination. I've looked into these issues for years, but don't take my word for any of it. Please do your own research. Enough for ranting, here's what I found:

Thoughts about the Hickory City Council meeting - July 15, 2014 - My Birthday Speech

What Millennials Want In The Workplace (And Why You Should Start Giving It To Them) - Forbes - Rob Asghar - January 13, 2014 - Gutfreund says that Intelligence Group studies of millennials have found that:
· 64% of them say it’s a priority for them to make the world a better place.

· 72% would like to be their own boss. But if they do have to work for a boss, 79% of them would want that boss to serve more as a coach or mentor.

· 88% prefer a collaborative work-culture rather than a competitive one.

· 74% want flexible work schedules.

· And 88% want “work-life integration,” which isn’t the same as work-life balance, since work and life now blend together inextricably.

Millennials are, in essence, “venture consumers,” Gutfreund says. They’re not looking to fill a slot in a faceless company, any more than a good venture capitalist is looking to toss money at a faceless startup. They’re looking strategically at opportunities to invest in a place where they can make a difference, preferably a place that itself makes a difference.

What Millennials Want Most: A Career That Actually Matters  - Forbes - Barry Salzberg, the global chief executive officer of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited - July 3, 2012 - ...Never mind the still sluggish job market. In their insistence on social principle, many millennials are not driven by money or success in quite the way their parents were. This generation wants to know what your organization stands for in improving society, what it stands for in action, as opposed to blowing smoke. Millennials want to know how they will make a positive difference in the world if they join your business, not by wearing a colorful T-shirt on a special project once a year but in their actual work.                                     Did I mention that this media-savvy generation is also jaded and suspicious? Unimpressed by title, well-traveled, and immune to P.R. in the old sense?  To anyone who imagines their heartstrings can be nimbly plucked, good luck.                               In August 2011, for example, students at top American schools—Yale, Harvard, Dartmouth, Stanford—were complaining about their peers going into finance and consulting, professions in which 25% of Yale grads launch their careers. They called such choices a “brain drain,” or “a tragedy of wasted minds,” as one Dartmouth undergrad put it. Deloitte signed up some 49,000 minds last year, so naturally this got my attention.                             We did some original research and discovered that these attitudes, conflicted as they can be, also reflect remarkable optimism and resilience, including an admirable willingness to tackle, head-on, society’s biggest issues. A slacker generation this is not.                    My organization examined the opinions of 1,000 millennials at Deloitte member firms regarding the impact of business on society. We found that more than half of them believe that in the future business will have a greater impact than anyone else in solving society’s biggest challenges.                     And 86% of them believe business will have at least as much potential as government to meet society’s challenges. Clearly, taken as a whole, millennials do not see business as a waste...

Millennials want more out of work - Young people change jobs frequently in search of fulfillment, flexibility - Chicago Tribune - Lisa Black - June 17, 2014 - ...About half of all American millennials are unemployed, underemployed or have given up looking for a job, Schawbel noted.                         About 21 million millennials live at home with their parents, he said. Many carry heavy student loan debt. And some are forced to constantly look for a better job — or work two or three part-time gigs at a time — simply to earn a living wage.                              "Allegiance to companies virtually doesn't exist among people my age because companies have made benefits so negligible," said one friend, who, at 28, has changed jobs already five times. I am not identifying her because I'd rather not expedite her move to Job No. 6.                           "We're just trying to survive in companies that don't care about employees like they used to," my friend said. "The days of starting your career and retiring with the same company are over."

11 Tips for Managing Millennials - - Susan M. Heathfield
  1. Provide structure.
  2. Provide leadership and guidance.
  3. Encourage the millennial's self-assuredness, "can-do" attitude, and positive personal self-image.
  4. Take advantage of the millennial's comfort level with teams. Encourage them to join.
  5. Listen to the millennial employee.
  6. Millennial employees are up for a challenge and change.
  7. Millennial employees are multi-taskers on a scale you’ve never seen before.
  8. Take advantage of your millennial employee’s computer, cell phone, and electronic literacy
  9. Capitalize on the millennial’s affinity for networking.
  10. Provide a life-work balanced workplace.
  11. Provide a fun, employee-centered workplace.


wandaarnold1716 said...

Great topic to concentrate on. From the parents point of view--what parents wouldn't love to have their children stay in Hickory and raise their families here where they can be part of their grandchildren's lives. Parents should start concentrating on this topic as never before--in their role as employers in Hickory! This could be a win-win for everyone.

wandaarnold1716 said...

Great topic to concentrate on. From the parents point of view--what parents wouldn't love to have their children stay in Hickory and raise their families here where they can be part of their grandchildren's lives. Parents should start concentrating on this topic as never before--in their role as employers in Hickory! This could be a win-win for everyone.

James Thomas Shell said...

Exactly... It is all about the mindset... Invest in the future generations and they will invest in you. They will be here to see you, interact, and help take care of you in your elder years.

That is the reason why 5 years ago I was pushing Ultra High Speed Broadband or what about creating wifi capacity opportunities throughout the city by partnering with the local fiber and tech companies??????

This is what tech savvy people need and it is a lot less expensive than some of the frills that. let's be frank, have little to do with what the younger generations need.

We could still use a real amphitheater too. That idea was Harry Hipps' baby and look what we got instead.