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September 20, 2017 ​8 facts and 5 myths your association needs to know about millennials Richard Green, Business Development Manager, North America

​8 facts and 5 myths your association needs to know about millennials

If you’re an association executive you’ve probably heard the term ‘millennial’ thousands of times in recent years, but as millennials are expected to make up 75% of the global workforce by 2025, it’s a topic that remains as relevant as ever.

The relationship between millennials and associations is an interesting one, there’s no doubt that associations can offer millennials significant career benefits – which many already take advantage of. The challenge for associations is communicating these benefits in a way that engages and retains the increasing numbers of millennials making up the working population.

The majority of associations recognize the need to understand and engage the millennial generation in order to define a clear strategy for attracting and retaining members and safeguarding future membership, but with so much information out there it can be difficult to know where to start.

To help you on your way we’ve picked out our favourite millennial facts and five of the biggest millennial myths.

The facts

Millennials are digital natives

They don’t remember a time without the internet and have grown up with laptops, broadband, smartphones and social media. In fact, 47% say the one thing they could not live without is the internet. It is this obsession with technology that sets them apart.

Millennials expect instant access to information

Any question they have, any person they want to connect with, any business they want to find, can all be found online, in less than a minute. They don’t know what a fax machine is, they have never used a scanner and they think Yellow Pages is nightlight mode on their Kindle.

Millennials personalize everything

Whether it’s their Twitter feed, music playlists, TV shows, news stories or email alerts, millennials personalize everything in their world to their specific interests.

Millennials are turned off by bureaucracy and barriers to communication

They value open dialogue, regular feedback and encouragement.

Millennials love transparency

A massive 94% of consumers are likely to be loyal to a business or brand that offers complete transparency.

Millennials value career development over financial rewards

According to a report by PwC, personal learning and development is their first choice of employee benefit, followed by flexible working hours. Cash bonuses come in at a surprising third place.

Millennials want a flexible working environment

They place more importance on work-life balance than financial reward.

Millennials expect free information

Whether they are searching on Wiki or reading people’s personal blogs, they have access to a world of data, statistics, case studies and much more – and they don’t have to pay for it.

The Fiction

Millennials are job-hoppers

Yes, younger workers change jobs more often than older workers, but that’s always been true. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics around 3% of young workers (those aged between 22 and 29) change jobs every month, compared to about 4% in the mid-1990s. It’s not a generation thing; it’s a life stage thing.

Millennials are lazy

Some may well be lazy, but we also know some pretty work-shy baby boomers. Research shows that most millennials are prepared to work hard to progress in their career:

• 47% of millennials in management positions have begun working more hours in the

last five years, compared with only 38% of generation X and 28% of baby boomers

• 53% are willing to work long hours and weekends

Millennials can’t find work

In 2016 the millennial unemployment rate in the US was 12.8%, which is more than twice the national average. However, this number includes 18-24 year olds – 39% of which are in college. Take out this age group and unemployment levels are comparable to other generations. Statistics from the US Bureau of Labor reveal the unemployment rate of millennials is 5.2%, which is only slightly higher than the national average of 4.9%.

Millennials are self-obsessed

The 2016 Millennial Impact Report found that 46% of millennials volunteered in the past month, 64% signed a petition and 52% made a donation!

Millennials are entrepreneurs

Contrary to the image of millennials as authority-hating, rule-breaking hipsters who run their own start-ups, many millennials feel ill-equipped to run their own business.

Madgex job board software Guide to millennials