On Millennials and the Need for Businesses to Adapt

How to make your business Millennial friendly.

is 2019, and the mood among millennials in the workforce is sombre. In an increasingly fragmented and polarised social and political landscape, many millennials are anxious and pessimistic about future prospects for social progress. In particular, many are increasingly concerned about environmental issues such as anthropogenic climate change and sustainable growth, as Arctic ice continues to melt more quickly than ever and extreme weather phenomena become ever more common. Furthermore, many millennials have cited the tendency of employers to put profits above workers, society and the environment, leaving them disenchanted and increasingly unhappy. “The message is clear: Young workers are eager for business leaders to be proactive about making a positive impact in society — and to be responsive to employees’ needs,” says the 2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey.

The Deloitte survey found that companies and senior management teams that are most aligned with millennials in terms of purpose, culture and professional development are likely to attract and retain the best millennial talent and, in turn, potentially achieve better financial performance. Loyalty must be earned, and the vast majority of millennials are prepared to move – often very quickly – for a better workplace experience. Millennials want leaders to more aggressively commit to making a tangible impact on the world while preparing their organizations and employees for the changes that Industry 4.0 will bring, which can be daunting for many.

Clearly, businesses must step up their corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts or risk being overlooked by top talents in their industry, most of whom would instead gravitate towards companies or organisations that espouse values congruent with their own. Businesses must adapt as a new generation joins the workforce – a generation of people who value values and cannot be incentivised by money alone. To this end, collaborative marketing may represent a viable solution. 

Collaborative marketing is the creation of value through a common purpose – in this case, making an impact on society and creating value for the community at large through the aggregation of resources from both the corporate and non-profit worlds. A business, no matter how noble its intentions, cannot go it alone – and that’s exactly where collaborative marketing can help your business, SME and MNC alike. When companies or organisations join forces with a common audience, goal, or mission in mind, they can aggregate their resources, assets, and skills in a multitude of ways to create a collective influence and an impact that is greater than the sum of its parts. For instance, online exposure for such a joint endeavour among companies can create leverage that would not have been possible for any one organisation, and this could lead to higher Google Search rankings and more effective search engine optimisation (SEO) for each of the organisations involved.

As such, collaborative marketing can provide a true ‘win-win’ situation for both parties in the equation – the corporate entity on one hand and the charity or non-profit organisation on the other. By collaborating, the former can leverage on positive associations with a well-known and well-supported charitable cause for positive publicity and public exposure, enhancing the company’s brand and public perception. In return, the charity or non-profit organisation will benefit from the various resources that the corporate entity can bring to bear, thus also benefiting the charity’s beneficiaries.

Ultimately, collaborative marketing can produce a positive impact on the wider community through shared values and the aggregation of resources with like-minded partners in both the corporate and not-for-profit spheres. This may be the way forward for corporations and businesses seeking to engage and convince a new and more progressive generation of employees.

Helena Ma brings with her a wealth of experience and a truly cosmopolitan perspective, having lived and worked in Shanghai, China; Gothenburg, Sweden; and London, UK. Her stints in Europe and China has armed Helena with a potent blend of ancient Chinese wisdom and contemporary Western knowledge which she incorporates into business management and client project