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4 Things You Can Do to Keep Your Millennial Happy


Publishers hold the mainstream accountable as the political and global climate is such that digital and media print is usually essential. However, traditional publishing continues to find stiff competition from other industry leaders. By targeting consumer interest through management and innovation, unemployment is high, but industries notice when an entire generation begins to exit the job market. Research shows that industry leaders and managers can no longer expect loyalty from millennials as they persist in old and outdated business practices. In a Pew Research analysis by Richard Fry, 35% of American labor participants are millennials, who comprise the most ext


ensive U.S. Labor force of working people today. Business industry weariness is warranted and in the article “Millennials Say Job-Hopping Helps Their Careers,” written in Business News Daily, Andrew Martins homes in on the worry industry leaders express in response to employee retainment and satisfaction. In his interview with survey company Akumina, David Maffei tells us what needs to happen next: “Businesses need to avoid operating outdated notions and instead align their workplaces to the psychological and technological needs of millennials who are taking on senior roles and driving business success” (Martins). Strategically, approaches centered around aligning and adjusting workplace hierarchy, technology, protocol, and work-life balance are suitable and encourage millennials to stay long-term. So, publishers have difficulty retaining millennial workers. In an industry known for well-executed windowing, various media formats released throughout overlapping periods, trouble seems to involve a “today’s” industry understanding of getting the most effective potential out of their millennial workforce.


Set in a kind of taker’s stubbornness, the “well, we have always done it this way” mentality is arguably one of the most crippling arguments a traditional publisher can make that account for many present-day business difficulties. If digital publishing managers persist in ignoring employee dissatisfaction, growing business challenges will eventually fatigue them. Max Willen’s Digiday article “Rise in the union activity is clashing with digital publishing’s business struggles” tracks an absence of employee engagement from digital publishing managers into a lack of employee satisfaction, thereby inviting a rise in union activity. The costly distractions of union interference will harm a publishing manager financially, which calls on leadership to engage employees internally beforehand. “The percentage of unionized workers in arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media occupations grew slightly, from 6.0 to 6.8 percent from 2016 to 2017, numbers which have since grown considerably according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics” (Willens). Some may view the growth of union activity as a good thing, but as publishing managers, our creative resourcefulness and industry expectations should prioritize resolving employee concerns. It just makes sense. The importance of managers understanding the millennial generation’s social makeup for managers is directly related to a business’s vitality and survival.


Gen Y, another name for millennials born 1980 - 1994, are known for their education, open-mindedness, collaborative abilities, and drive (Spiro). The first approach to encourage millennials to stay long-term includes a workplace alignment that consists of a creative and combined version of the flat management structure. With workplace alignment as a guiding factor, the lines of authority are few but precise. This approach allows for decision-making to also live at entry-level work conditions. With work-life balance awareness in mind, the focus on rank is correct, and there are management structures with millennials in mind that a publishing manager should consider.


Holacracy, Brian Robertson’s retooled flat management working structure, outlines continuous tasks within team circles that are different aspects of company work. Amy Adkins and Brandon Rigoni’s article on the Gallup website “Managers: Millennials Want Feedback, but Will Not Ask For it” offers take-away reasons why a flat management structured approach, like Holacracy, could help. “Millennials have grown up in an era of remarkable connectedness. They are used to receiving instantaneous feedback from parents, teachers, and coaches.” (Adkins, Rigoni) In the Gallup Research, the two writers also found the highest engagement percentage among employees meeting weekly with their manager. Small optimistic-led autonomous engagement work circles supply a recipe for millennial loyalty. The second approach to encourage millennial employees to stay long-term includes developing a genuine and flexible understanding of employee engagement by supporting millennials equally through technology. By aligning the workplace to engage the millennial employee technologically, management may realize that this generation looks for and supports flexibility. They are interested in an American consciousness where the agency of morality and ethics are valued. The technological needs of the millennial in today’s workforce confirm a generation that, as children, would remember the first cell phone, video game console, Walkman, or camcorder. Known as a “tech-savvy” and digital generation, Bannon, Ford, and Meltzer explain in The CPA Journal why that is in their essay “Understanding millennials in the workplace.” “They are the first generation to experience only a post-digital and globalizing world. They grew up untethered - with wireless devices, workplace mobility, and texting - and remain connected with friends via social networks” (Bannon, Ford, Meltzer). Below are three points shared from a Pew survey that should prompt response for management innovation: · 75% of millennials are members of an online social group · 62% of Millennials, more than any other group, connect to the Internet using a laptop or handheld device · 83% keep their cell phones next to them 24 hours a day Managers will not use whip-cracking when their millennial employees respectfully supply any tech-related introduction.


A third approach will require alignment in the workplace that rethinks and adjusts security, training protocols, and ethics policies while supporting transparency. Cara Spiro, writer of “Generation Y in the Workplace,” suggests “developing Millennials’ appreciation for the value of confidentiality by clearly stating and enforcing policies and guidelines on Internet use, information sharing, and intellectual property” (Spiro). Millennials are the go-to generation with technological efficiency. Through accommodating clear company protocols, employers must allow millennials to use specialized tools they are the most comfortable with to get the job done. In some instances, this can save large companies a great deal financially because they will not need over-budgeted, top-of-the-line business software. These adjustments must include the input of the optimistic millennial employee. They appreciate the recognition of their hard work and feel like they belong. For example, a publishing manager would consider alignment where the millennial employee creates, adds to, or edits their current job description, which changes over time, but is edited by the person who holds the title. Since job titles and descriptions are not immune to industry change, it makes sense for employee engagement and satisfaction to work through these incentives. Place the job in the “tech-savvy” millennial hand from the hiring to finding their replacement.


Furthermore, as a fourth approach, traditional hierarchically structured businesses should act faster to retrain and develop integrated work-life balance benefits structures. Millennials face college debt, recessions, fewer children, and less property ownership. The publishing manager may consider participating in a college loan repayment plan that follows the software structure and over-time benefits of online investment platforms. Acorn’s mission statement states, “Invest your spare change, set aside the leftover change from everyday purchases… we will help you invest, save and spend responsibly for just $1, $,2, or $3 per month. No surprise fees, surprise upgrades” (Acorns). By utilizing a “spare change,” approach whether from the cost of print or mail supplies, ink, computers, or anything the company buys, the millennial employee would be relieved to know that at no additional cost, the spare change from company purchases helps pay down employee loan debt. In closing, managers across multiple industry platforms face the socioeconomic reality of living in a politically volatile climate. In balancing the workplace for millennials, business cultures can remain undeterred through an awareness of work-life balance, technology, and transparency. Employment satisfaction and engagement can be a refreshing adjustment when the work environment aligns with today’s labor force’s more beneficial attributes and generational influences.


References Acorns. Acorns, Invest Your Spare Change, 2019, Acorns.com. Accessed 20 September 2019 Adkins, Amy, Rigoni, Brandon. “Managers: Millennials Want Feedback, but Will not Ask for It.” Gallup, https://www.gallup.com/workplace/236450/managers-millennials-feedback-won-ask.aspx. Accessed 12 September 2019 Bannon, Shele, Kelly Ford, and Linda Meltzer. “Understanding millennials in the workplace.” The CPA Journal 81.11 (2011): 61. Fry, Richard. “Millennials are the largest generation in the U.S. labor force.” Pew Research Center, https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/04/11/millennials-largest-generation-us-labor-force/. Accessed 14 September 2019 Martins, Andrew. Millennials Say Job-Hopping Helps Their Careers.” Business News Daily, https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/15099-millennials-job-hopping.html. Accessed 20 September 2019 Spiro, Cara. “Generation Y in the Workplace.” Defense AT&l35.6 (2006): 16-19. Willens, Max. “Rise in union activity is clashing with digital publishing’s business struggles.” Digiday, https://digiday.com/media/rise-union-activity-clashing-digital-publishings-business-struggles/. Accessed 12 September 2019


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