Millennials look for experiences over possessions
Recently, the Millennial generation has changed the traditional consumption patterns, ways of working, relating and communicating that were established by previous generations. They are the ones responsible for the new called “Experience Economy”. But let us analyze why this new paradigm is taking place and why Millennials look for experiences over possessions.
Millennials: who are they?
Defining a sector of the population such as the ‘millennials’ is not an easy task, but most of the media agree on one thing: these young people born after the 80s, are a digital generation, hyper-connected and with high social and ethical values. All this and more makes them different from past generations.
Natives to technology since they were little, this group of young people are aware that our planet's resources are limited. In that sense, they are focused on other types of needs. Unlike the baby boomers and Generation X, whose goals and happiness were to have as many possessions as possible (houses, cars, land, expensive items, etc.), millennials are after well-being and living experiences.
They care about the collective and personal well-being. Millennials show concern about environmental and health topics. Since they prioritize caring for the environment, lots of millennials for example tend to pay a little more if the products they buy come from responsible sources. They are also eager to buy products that are not necessarily from a traditional or already established brand.
They are characterized mainly by their constant seek to travel, experience new things, emotions and sensations. Opposite to previous generations, who lived in a world much less globalized than today.
Experiences, what every millennial yearns for
For the young people of the 21st century, success is measured in experiences, not possessions. They admire people who has visited as many countries as possible, lived a life of adrenaline, and enjoyed the pleasures of a good lifestyle. In other words, they have separated from the material possessions, they no longer want things, but the opportunity to travel and savor life. Social networks, low-cost airlines and globalization have been an essential part of this change.
They are not only characterised by living experiences. This generation is also in constant search of connection. Connection with people, nature, culture and emotions. That’s why lots of them have the ritual of sharing and spreading their experiences on social networks. This is another key element of the millennial generation. They are used to sharing moments with their community. A beautiful sunset at the beach, new experiences such as skydiving, delicious food they’ve tried in a new restaurant or a cool event they attended. The aspirational life of every millennial is measured in moments and experiences.
Millennials in the workplace
This longing of living experiences is also carried into their work routine and professional aspirations. In previous decades, people were looking for a stable job in which they could grow up to seniority. The objective was to achieve a higher salary thanks to the experience acquired in that same company. The current situation is different. Today's young people seeks improvement, but not only associated with salary. Other experiences such as having a company car, benefits, work trips, team building activities are also relevant.
A key challenge for businesses nowadays is the attraction and retention of talent and the changing skillsets required for the transition toward technology workers. Businesses will need to come up with new ways of working to capture and harness new sources of growth in this increasingly competitive global marketplace.
Adapting to the new normal
Millennials will make up the largest percentage of the global workforce by 2025. It’s not surprising that companies are concerned about how millennials’ needs would change the way business is done. As Baby Boomers finally retire, new challenges will appear to existing businesses. To manage the greatest transfer of organisational knowledge, we will have to understand the new generation’s motivations and expectations towards the workplace.
Millennials seem more concerned with establishing their own lives and finding their selves before settling down. They quickly get tired of the routine, and this makes them be in a constant search for new things. They want to change the world by rewriting the rules. That also includes their professional life. They are probably the most empowered generation to date: digital natives, curious and in a learning period.
Millennials are the ambassadors of terms such as flexibility, work life balance, employee appreciation, all key elements in how they would like to work. They want greater freedom to organise how they structure their work activity.
Businesses were already adapting to this new lifestyle, providing flexible work practices such as childcare or home office, in order to retain staff. This last year, with the Covid-19 Pandemic most companies had to adapt to new ways of working that will probably stay. Digital and mobile technology has led to an increased blurring of work and life.
How to recruit Millennial talents
Millennials do exhaustive research when looking for their next employer. The hyperconnected millennial has access to insights about companies not available before. They can now hear about other employee experiences, understanding the company culture and ways of working. That’s why building a good employee and employer branding can help you attract the best professionals.
What they desire from employers is interesting, well-paid, motivating employees in a stimulating modern environment where they can connect with people. A company they trust and who appreciates them. They prefer organizations that value them enough to provide choice, flexibility, and opportunities for learning.
Millennials value relationships, recognition, and reward from their leaders. They prefer open communication and inspiration, not pressure and control. This form of recognition can vary between formal review, informal chat, or workplace incentives. It’s a powerful tool for engagement and employee retention.
If you want to do something different and innovative to motivate your younger employees, or you are struggling to find the perfect gift for a Millennial, our Experience Gift Boxes are a great option. You will be giving them the option to pick from hundreds of experiences all over Australia, helping them to collect one more amazing memory thanks to you.