Millenials are sometimes seen by prior generations as being self-centered, entitled and unfocused. Their behavior, however, stems from being raised in a digital, networked world where they have been taught to be true to themselves, independent and ambitious. Additionally, studies point to this generation as being the most socially conscious consumers to date. Many Millenials feel personally responsible for making a difference in the world and expect the same from both their education and workplaces. As this generation increases its buying power and enters the workforce, Millenial’s role as both customers and employees has significant implications for companies and the way they do business.

Lead with purpose.
Given this generation’s strong sense of social consciousness it is of no surprise that they have embraced cause-based actions and expect companies to do the same. This is largely due to the fact that Millenials hold a deep belief that business has the power to change the world and they look towards companies to lead the way in doing so. Companies that engage Millenials in doing business that contributes to the greater good will build deep loyalty with this generation as both consumers and employees.

Make it a dialogue, not a monologue.
Many companies express concerns about embracing social media because they fear the loss of control that it entails. Millenials, however, have grown up with a plethora of digital tools that have enabled them to broadcast their thoughts to the world and have engrained in them the belief that their voice matters and deserves to be heard. While shifting to an open conversation may feel uncomfortable for some companies, they have more to gain from joining these conversations that are already happening than not. Furthermore, as digital tools become increasingly sophisticated, open dialogue will become the expectation and a necessary form of engagement in order for companies to maintain relevance with this generation.

Think collective success.
Millenials have grown up in a networked world and fully understand the value of interconnectedness. They believe that alone we can do a little bit, but that by working together we can do a lot. Millenials question conventional definitions of success and look to their peers, networks and communities to achieve big, purposeful goals. Companies that leverage this enthusiasm and tendency towards collaboration can engage Millenials in raising the bar and driving innovation.

—Alyson Madrigan

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