Millennial men have more of a need to consume than ever. Guyliner, manscaping and male fashion chic – these are all real trends. Nielsen studies have estimated that millennial males in the United States spend upwards of $17 billion in retail. This is a number that is equal to, and even outpaces, females in the same age range. This trend towards fashion is indicative of many male millennial behaviors that may disappoint their forefathers – stay-at-home-fathering, a focus away from career advancement, and a milder overall personality.
As a whole, surveys of millennial males show they are less motivated by titles and even salary than they are by job satisfaction, creative pursuits, and social outreach. This represents a significant shift from Generation X and especially from the Baby Boomer generation of men, who took pride in climbing the corporate ladder and obtaining bigger titles and salaries. Millennial dads spend an average of five more hours per week with their kids than dads of other generations, and many are even willing to pass on promotions if it would require them to spend less time with their families. This change in perspective affects how companies can shift their focus to appeal to top prospects in the millennial generation, since traditional appeals are unlikely to attract them.
If corporations are looking to retain prime millennial males, they must embrace the millennial mindset within their culture. One of the advantages of understanding the new male personality is for companies to provide an environment to enhance their productivity. Companies that offer flexible schedules, an espresso machine, and brainstorming time will promote corporate enthusiasm. If a particular employee has been tapped by a company as executive material, that company should keep in mind that millennial males feel much more comfortable in a collaborative environment. It is no longer necessary to reserve a corner office and a parking space; it is much more effective to provide the resources for cross-departmental connectivity.
Some organizations, like Southwest Airlines, have already made this leap. They realize what a stronger millennial workforce can do for their organization. While it’s not necessarily their goal to hire all millennials, they understand what the millennial mindset can do for a culture, and it appears to be providing positive results. In July 2016, Southwest made it to the top of the list for Forbes 25 Best Companies for Work-Life Balance. They offer employee wellness and career development programs, with compressed workweeks, flexible hours, and job sharing. On the Careers page of their website, Southwest highlights the theme, “Not just a career, a cause.”
One of the most effective ways to create loyalty in millennial employees is to invest in their education and career training. The undergraduate university system currently faces scrutiny for producing graduates with generic skill sets. Companies fighting for these highly intelligent yet initially unprepared graduates are paying for expensive Master’s degrees and other training programs, requiring a certain level of service to the company in return. The nature of the game is to choose employees that will eventually pay the company back in returns and secure profits.
If your organization has taken notice of these trends, but has yet to make any changes, it’s time to start looking at and understanding how important these millennial men will be to the future of your organization. Consider your current workforce and how many millennial men you currently employ. Do you currently offer them some sort of leadership program or career map? Does your organization’s culture embrace working from home to increase productivity and allow for flexibility or does it frown upon those who aren’t putting in 10 hours of in-office seat time each day?
Keeping the attention and retaining the highly educated, less rigorous millennial male of today may require out of the box thinking and more fluidity. However, changing the company culture to match the needs of this more sensitive generation of men may reap rewards in the long term as the cost of talent acquisition can be expensive.
As a national provider of retained executive recruitment services, our team at Executives Unlimited helps companies identify, recruit and retain their next leaders. Please call us at (866) 957-4466 or contact us online if your organizational leaders are interested in transforming the way you retain Millennial talent.
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