At a recent strategic planning session with the agency I work for, it was repeatedly determined that we are getting old, and NOT because we have been providing community services for nearly sixty years. We are literally old, because the mean average age of our staff and board of directors is now hovering just over fifty years of age. We are missing some Millennials in our life, and apparently we are not alone.
Many of us in the non profit sector are facing a baby boomer demographic wall with the last of the boomers set to retire by sometime around 2028, leaving a huge employment hole in their wake. Wait! What? That’s a mere thirteen years from now!
If you are not already actively engaging Millennials (those born after 1980), you need to understand that they will soon be the dominant demographic in the workplace. Once all those boomers retire back to the land, for good that is.
Changing your hiring practices, your agency’s transparency, your use of social media, and your work-life balance options may all be increasingly important to retaining Millennials in the workplace.
Changing your hiring practices means using social media, online applications, job portals and providing the ability to conduct skype interviews. The classified ad is dead and the first thing a prospective Millennial will do is google your agency. If the don’t like what they see, such as an out of date, boring website, and don’t feel a connection – well they may pass altogether.
Transparency means being aware of the power social media has to take down a brand, and that Millennials grew up with technology so they EXPECT transparency. Your agency should be up front, open, and be ready to take and give feedback regularly.
The use of social media has become not just how we predominantly communicate, but also how we now donate, support causes, fundraise, research, and of course hear our news. Failing to keep up with media and staying with say, just an email model of communication with your employees, will not attract nor retain young employees. i.e. get with the 2010’s yo.
Work-Life balance means flexibility, an ability to engage and use media at work and to not always work in a physical office – it doesn’t mean work less it means work smarter, and work healthier.
According to Tech Soup – Millennials are also generous, and will become your next generation of donors and supporters of non profits.
“It’s important to engage Millennials. Not only are they the upcoming generation who will soon make up the majority of our economy, they are already generous donors, professionals and active members of our communities. Millennials tend not to commit to a single charity or cause, but rather move around, flocking towards the causes and organizations solving the problems they care about. Millennials have the highest engagement. Not only do they give, they also fundraise, volunteer, and bring in new donors through their efforts and personal networks; this may be more valuable than outright donations.”
What I hear that article saying is that connecting with Millennials has more value than a straight cash donation!!
And lastly, work-life balance, and the importance being placed on it by our missing Millennials, would frankly benefit every employee you have, even those soon on their way to permanent golf games, sailing lessons, yoga classes, or volunteer work.