Figuring Out Millennials

What matters to Generation Y

Photo Credit: picjumbo.com

As probably most of you reading this article and another 73 million people in the world were born between the years of 1980–1996, this age group is also known as the Millennials or Generation Y. Many researchers have tried to outline the behaviors and understandings of our generation, but while still comparing the data, we might be quite hard to fit in a ‘box’.

Nevertheless, Gallup, Inc., has done it well and conducted research that will extensively look into reasons how millennials perceive their work, themselves and even politics in relation to the U.S. economy. It is important to understand this group of people, as they are the largest generation group in the U.S.

Disengaged but not ‘Entitled’

For example, in the workforce, millennials are often misunderstood. So much so, that the study found that only 29% of millennials are actually engaged to their job. The rest, are either actively disengaged or they belong to the 55% that is indifferent about their jobs. This concept overrules the stereotypical view that millennials switch jobs way too often due to ‘entitlement’, as the study says.

Photo Credit: Gallup, Inc.

Finding life purpose costs a lot to the economy

Gallup also discovered that in comparison to previous age groups, millennials tend to switch jobs more often and most of them are thinking about finding a new job in the next year, this constant dissatisfaction with jobs costs the US a lot of money,”Gallup estimates that millennial turnover costs the U.S. economy $30.5 billion annually.”

Millennials value relationships with their manager

There might be a solution, as the survey does believe that there is a vital connection between the relationship of the employee (millennial) and the manager and the performance of the millennial. Apparently, it is important for millennials to have meetings with their managers often, which leads the millennial to be more engaged in their work. Hence, it is important for the employee to receive feedback about their progress, for them to succeed.

The generation that grew up in digital age

Millennials are often focused on their devices, and it is not that they are distracted, the survey did not specify that, it is rather because they grew up with the digital age. Most of them are used to using their digital devices for news, bills, online shopping and any type of information they would ever need to receive. This has changed the way millennials consume media overall, and therefore they rely less on radio, television and newspapers.

Millennials vs. older generations in Political views. Photo Credit: Gallup, Inc

Millennials are less religious and more likely to be independents

This also leads the gallup survey to religion and politics. For an example, millennials are seen as less religious and therefore do not attend church as much as any other previous generation before them. In the political sense, 44% of millennials refer to themselves as independents. Especially in comparison to the older generations, millennials are described more as independents and least as Republicans.

Millennials are becoming frugal

When it comes directly to economy, the spending habits have changed a lot too. Since 2008, the spending has been declining, which might be caused by lower incomes and higher student debts, as the survey says. Gallup estimates that spending habits have lowered by $13 per day from $98 to $85 when compared to the same age group in 2008. This in total costs the U.S. economy $949 million each day. Even though saving money could be expected by the trend that millennials tend to compare prices online and more often will purchase items that have been used before, they are also known to make more impulse purchases than the older generations.

In conclusion, millennials are more interested in the purpose of life, development and ongoing conversations than focusing on the paycheck. They are more influenced by progress and gain from their job and surroundings, whether it being a better deal online or having their manager to coach them. They cannot be easily pin-pointed down and are constantly on the go, making a change in the economy and hopefully a more positive impact in the world.

For companies interested in learning more about this report, please sign up for it on Gallup’s website here. Also Gallup is also holding a workshop on How Millennials Want to Work and Live.