Pew research reported in April 2016 that Millennials (age 18 to 34 in 2015) now number 75.4 million, surpassing the 74.9 million Baby Boomer generation. This milestone is in addition to the fact that in 2015 they surpassed Generation X as the largest share of the workforce with more than one-in-three workers being Millennials.
That means it's highly likely many companies have at least a few of these staffers on board. Millennials as a group have an interesting set of values with the top three identified as personal values / morals, impact on clients / customers, and personal goals and ambitions according to a 2016 research report from Deloitte.
These top three values make them a perfect match for becoming successful citizen developers.
[tweetthis]“Top 3 values of #Millennials are perfect match for becoming a successful #citizendeveloper[/tweetthis]
And there’s no time to waste in getting them involved. The survey also states that many Millennials have one foot out the door, with two in three expected to leave by 2020. Quickly moving these staffers into positions that are aligned with their values will help with retention.
Let’s take a look at the top three values and see how getting them involved in citizen development can help make it a win-win for the employee and the company.
Millennials generally align their sense of purpose around people rather than focusing on company growth or maximizing profit.
Working as a citizen developer, millennials have the opportunity to improve the work lives of the people around them by making things easier for them to get done. They can create simple business application solutions to complicated problems and streamline activities that eat up time. They’ll have the opportunity to work with others one-on-one or in a team, identify problems and develop solutions, and then see the results of their efforts quickly. This will also improve the company and more than likely increase profit, but the focus for the millennial worker will be on helping others in the company have a better work experience.
Millennials have indicated a desire to provide goods and services that make a positive difference to people’s lives.
As a citizen developer, millennials can use problem-solving skills to identify those work activities that could be causing a less than stellar customer experience. They can then develop solutions that improve that experience for the customer. They could also have the opportunity to develop a direct customer app that provides a better positive difference for the customer.
Learn how citizen development can have a positive impact on your team and customers, and possibly accelerate your career in, An Introduction to Citizen Development: Bringing Shadow IT into the Light.
Millennials are impatient when it comes to advancing through an organization, making them less loyal to a company. Key to this loyalty is the opportunity for them to develop and use leadership skills to help them achieve their personal goals and advance up the career ladder.
Learning and using citizen development skills will provide millennials with plenty of advancement and leadership opportunities (just ask John Leuver of Southwest Airlines). As a citizen developer who creates easy solutions for other team members, they’ll have the opportunity to be viewed as a leader, perceived as someone who cares about how things get done, and learn leadership skills that will serve them well.
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