Bright Brands Need Bright Minds: Your Brand and Millennial Talent

Hi my name is Jennifer and I’m a millennial. I want your brand to succeed. I want your employees to succeed (I’m sure you want both as well). In order for this success to occur you need insight into the millennial mind. Here I am to give you the honest, unvarnished truth about why I recently job-hopped and what you need to know/do now to secure the best future for your brand and employees.

My Recent Job Search

I was working hard, directing my team, creatively problem solving, checking off tasks, and then leaving work for the day. Later that evening, I’d scroll through my Instagram feed. I’d see food posts, ads, that new restaurant I wanted to try, then I saw my college roomie who just received a promotion at her firm, another friend’s creative team celebrating his birthday, and my sister receiving recognition at work.

This triggered my opportunistic and adventurous mind, so I clicked over to check job postings on Indeed and LinkedIn. Casually, I browsed opportunities, my favorite YouTube channel streaming in the background. Finding a few exciting job descriptions, I saved them for later. Then, I swung over to social – how did these brands post, act, present – after all if it wasn’t posted on social, did it even happen? This social checkup narrowed the field down a bit and I quickly reviewed company websites and employee reviews on Glassdoor. Tired, I closed my browser and started getting ready for bed.

Eventually, these evening job hunts became more purposeful and specific. I wanted to find a position that provided growth, advancement, challenges, connectivity, and the sense that what I did truly made a unique impact. These desires gave me the courage I needed to transition my career and land a new position – my current role as Social Media Manager at Kolbeco!

The Millennial Career Mind

Heightened career mobility is a hallmark of my millennial generation. We’re deeply invested in career growth, job satisfaction, and knowing we’re making a difference in the workplace. Ready to work hard, thought-leaders, and providers of marketing insight, millennials should be part of any brand that wants to remain relevant past 2025 – when millennials will be 75% of the global workforce. What keeps your brand appealing to millennials – employee engagement! Employee engagement boils down to an employee feeling engaged at work because you (the manager or founder) has an active, obvious plan for your employees’ best career.

Employee engagement might seem a pretentious need and time-consuming to an employer – but it WILL pay off in the end. Forbes reported, in businesses with highly engaged teams, profitability increased by 21%, sales productivity by 20%, and output quality by 40%. Plus, a whopping 72% of millennials who receive regular feedback from management report feeling more fulfilled and satisfied at work. But according to Gallup, only 29% of millennials are engaged “meaning they are emotionally and behaviorally connected to their job and company”.

Brand Impact

In a world of instant connectivity poor employee engagement can wreak havoc on brand reputation amongst consumers and investors. Your employees are the living representations of your brand. They interact with your customers, they play a key role in delivering the brand experience, and they are your direct ambassadors outside the walls of your business. When they’re engaged your customers feel it and want to be part of it – it’s contagious and energizing.

Even investment institutions are tapping into the noise your engaged or disgruntled employees are projecting. They look and weigh your employee engagement to consider if your business is a good investment, if it’s healthy and if it has a future. “A recent study of Glint data from more than half a million employees revealed that organizations in the top quartile of Glint scores (a measure of employee engagement) tend to have Glassdoor Recommend scores that are a full 34 percentage points higher than those in the bottom quartile. The analysis also indicated that public companies in the top quartile of Glint scores achieved 42% higher 52-week change in stock value than those in the bottom quartile”.

What Brands Need to Do Now:

  1. Create an overarching employee engagement strategy: depending on the size of your organization you may need to create an engagement team or, if you’re smaller, assign this to a honest and ambitious employee who can get this started. Map out the lifecycle of your employee’s experience within your company (events, parties, trainings) – what are the touchpoints and are they successfully engaging?
  2. Employee Blueprint: Create an honest dialogue with your employees about lifestyle goals, career dreams, passions, preferences, opportunities they see, and use that information to create an employee blueprint with palatable points of success. View your employees’ career in stages of waves vs a linear path. Prepare to be very flexible with this discussion and open to seeing if an employee is leaning in a direction that requires you to restructure the fluidity or current opportunities of your organization. Millennials need to feel there are exciting areas of growth within their current company – so you need to be willing to move pieces around, restructure jobs, and teams.
  3. Public recognition: Build your company wide recognition for achievements, both personal and professional. Recognition needs to be given at different levels, for different victories. Although this need for recognition might easily be misaligned into the ‘everyone gets a trophy’ trope, millennials like everyone else are motivated by recognition. Reach out to your HR team and project leads to ensure employees successes are being documented and rewarded in consistent, public, and enjoyable ways. Make sure these successes are on your social feed. Millennials gain massive amounts of career and social collateral when their employer takes the time to brag on their significant life or career success.

Employee engagement and a way to show it off, should be a cornerstone of any brand strategy. Need help discovering real-world insights and putting brand strategies like this into place? We’ve got you covered! Kolbeco a full-service marketing agency with deep insights into brand management, social media presence, digital, and public relations. We offer flexible services that cater to your immediate needs while providing strategy for your brand’s long-term success. Reach out today to start building tomorrow.


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