Making your company relevant to millennials

Do you manage millennials in the workplace?

If so, “chances are your thoughts are based on negative assumptions about how lazy, entitled and pampered they are,” said Dan Negroni, founder of Launchbox Inc., a San Diego-based millennial consulting firm whose clients include Qualcomm, KPMG and UBS.

He advises managers to look beyond those perceptions to find a way to work with millennials, defined as those ages 20 to 36.

It’s critical to companies because millennials, which already make up roughly one-third of the workforce, will be about two-thirds of the workforce in less than 10 years, Negroni said.

 Negroni, 51, who recently published a book about millennials called “Chasing Relevance,” answered questions from the Union-Tribune about how to manage millennials in the workforce. (Some answers have been edited for length.)

Q. Why is understanding millennials as employees important for companies?

A. They are 36 percent or more of your workforce. They will be nearly 75 percent of your employees by 2025.

Thirty percent of organizations lose 15 percent or more of their millennial workforce annually. It costs companies $15,000 to $25,000 to replace each millennial. Seventy-one percent of organizations report that the loss of millennial employees increased the workload and stress of current employees. 

Those that want any chance of succeeding need to figure out how to win with millennials.

Simply put, when it comes to millennials, most of us have no idea what to believe or do. So we believe and assume the worst. Until we see this, the most powerful myths or assumptions that we have about millennials will continue to negatively impact our attitudes about, perceptions of and relationships with them. 

Get past the myths and realize that individual differences are more important than generational ones. If you make the company and yourself relevant to millennials, they will make the company and you relevant to the market.

About Launchbox

Headquarters: San Diego

Year founded: 2014

Other Launchbox clients: Booz Allen Hamilton, DLA Piper, PayLease, BusinessOnline

Founder: Negroni is the father to two millennial-aged children: Zach, 24, who works at BOX; Allie, 21, a junior and communications major at University of Utah. Negroni is author of the book “Chasing Relevance.”

Hang Nguyen is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles.

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