I love working with Millennials as well as understanding their purchasing habits.
From IBM’s Institute of Business Value’s study on Millennials, I had 3 Aha moments about how they like to purchase!
- The world’s gone social! Millennials meet with vendors face-to-face during the sales cycle, but they would much rather interact remotely during this initial phase
- In God we trust, all others bring data. Millennials place equal weight on data analysis and the opinion of family and friends when deciding whether or not to make a B2B purchase costing US$10,000 or more
- Millennials are eager to share positive experiences, but very reluctant to share disappointments
These 3 ahas, tell me that in order to meet their needs, we need to:
- Be social in the sales cycle ! Since this social network scene makes the most sense to millennials, consider setting up an internal private social site to gain more input, and answer questions.
- Share data and analytics to assist in the progression! Since millennials want the data, share it! Do your homework to make it valuable but don’t forget the “word of mouth” as well.
- Make it easy to shout it from the mountain tops! Since this new generation likes to share positive experiences, make it easy for them to do so. This enables them to become your brand ambassadors!
Not a shocker! Collaboration is valued highly!
In phase 1 of the millennial study, we found that 56% of millennials and 64% of gen x’ers value collaboration (boomers operate more independently) in decision making. Given that, there are things that really matter to these new workers (I love them too!)
Not just gut feel!
Millennials and Gen X’ers rely on analytics to help them make decisions (Baby boomers operate more on gut feel). For instance, Millennials love the analytics inside of email (like IBM Verse) help prioritize your inbox and make your day more productive using analytics.
Virtual plus In person matters:
One of the key findings from the phase 2 millennial study is in the way these new folks like to work. They like to meet in person but also virtually. Social collaboration matters to them. So training the team on how to use social on social selling …During the sales cycle, make sure that you enable your sellers on social influence and selling. For instance, IBM has partnered with Hootsuite and sellers can get a license to help manage their social accounts.
For in person value, we have been building out our influencer network with the influencers that millennials listen to (e.g., TED@IBM). In addition, we have a world class social good focus. Through our IBM Corporate service corps, we deploy IBMers to do smarter city projects for local governments to give local citizens visibility to IBM and how we are helping local communities.
I have a team of millenials that have just started a weekly in person meeting because as they love the virtual work environment, that in person get together is also crucial.
Social — Millenials are more careful
One big difference between Gen X and Gen Y, is their use of digital. We know that millennials grew up digitally and as such they are more careful in their use of social tools But because they know how to use the tools, make sure you take advantage of their knowledge. Have them do reverse mentoring to assist you in the workplace.
By 2020, Millennials will be approximately 50 percent of the U.S. workforce, and by 2030, 75 percent of the global workforce. (Source: Forbes study)
I am sure you’ve seen some of the recent studies, highlighting how millennials will be a major part of the workforce going into 2020 and beyond. A Forbes study, highlights that Millennials will be 50% of he US workforce by 2020!
This creates a great challenge for leaders who are faced with managing a workforce across multiple generations namely, Millennials, Gen X (aged 35–49), and Baby Boomers (aged 50–60). At IBM, we see the importance of understanding the preferences and behavioral patterns of each of these segments.
Today, I will share a few of the datapoints from this study from IBM’s Institute of Business Value that was released today! Its a multigenerational study of 1,700+ employees from organizations across 12 countries and 6 industries
Here’s a few of our findings and actions for leaders in managing this multigenerational workforce:
One surprising finding is that Millennials want many of the same things their older colleagues do. While there are some distinctions among the generations, Millennials’ attitudes are not poles apart from other employees
50%+ of Millennials are accessing their personal social networks for professional reasons less frequently than Gen X employees.
While this finding may not be a surprise, we did find that Gen Xers use social networks more frequently (60%+) to communicate with colleagues, get industry information, and promote their companies products / services. Given today’s escalating concerns about privacy and security, it’s imperative for senior leaders managing a cross generational workforce to publish social computing guidelines and ensure all employees receive direction about what can and cannot be shared externally
3 Actions for Senior leaders managing a cross generational workforce – How to get started
1. Focus on the individual (employee)
2. Foster a collaborative culture
3. Make customer experience a priority