Today I saw something that made me ponder a possible shift ahead: it was a rather elegant license plate frame that read, “Proud Employee of Corporate Synergies.” It just struck me as really different from anything I’d seen — or, at the least, noticed — before.
Why it caught my attention: In a corporate landscape rife with lots of downsizing, free agents and Looking Out for Mr. Big, it seemed to be a back-to-basics, institution-trusting statement.
Through my cross-generational lens: Millennials, currently 6-26 years old and the newest generation entering the workforce, align more naturally with prestigious and powerful institutions. They are likely to bring much more commitment (and the important and trusted support of their parents) when they can work with a prestigious company. (Prestige is rarely a compelling issue for most GenX folk. Boomers tend to be more interested in turf and title.) The license plate strategy I saw, while just a small token, is a statement of corporate prestige and team pride.
Tip for Organizations: When hiring Millennial employees, look for opportunities where you can genuinely position your company as prestigious. Find an angle. Did your company win an award or local chamber of commerce recognition? Have you developed innovative new practices in your industry? Communicate that working for your company will be good for your new hire’s long-term career path. Do this, and you may find Millennials’ interest in working for — and committing to — your company on an upward trend.
Note: Generational peer personalities are like centers of gravity; each individual inside a generation has his or her own relationship to the peer personality.