Monday, July 6, 2015

The Gift of Millennials

By: Marisa Geitner, President and C.E.O.

Many often hear me repeat a quote born out of research based on the Pygmalion Effect. It goes something like this, "Treat a person as they could be and should be and they will become as they could be and should be, treat them as they are and they will remain as they are."

It’s the first thing that comes to mind when I hear the seemingly nonstop criticism of the Millennial generation, which by the way is the largest and most researched cohort to date. I'm referencing those born between 1980 and 1999. Those who represent, according to the US Census Bureau, more than 80 million people in today’s workforce across this country. They represent 1,110 members of our Heritage Christian Services workforce. That's 62 percent of our total workforce today! In terms of those we support, 50 percent are Millennials.

I'd like to share some general facts that keep me encouraged about our present and future workforce. Despite the national tragedies that have filled their upbringing, they are largely known as optimists. As a widely diverse generation, they demonstrate tolerance of race and they demand equality. They can be masters of self-expression. Nurtured right, this can be a method of developing awareness at a young age. They know themselves and that helps them plot their own opportunities and development. They have demonstrated care for others in need, and they get involved. Their self esteem allows them to be assertive and they have high expectations. It's not a corporation that earns their loyalty, but a good supervisor and team. They value relationships. Did you know they will often rely more on the feedback of those they trust than on the plethora of research they have at the tip of their fingers? They watch and listen to learn.

Is it any wonder Millennials have such an impact at Heritage Christian Services?  It’s a value match right from the get-go. Our culture fuels the entrepreneurial spirit in them, and they appreciate the freedom to develop strong relationships with those they support and those they work with. They are encouraged by the ability to share experiences that help others (and themselves) navigate what matters most. They appreciate diversity in their work sometimes even more than advancement. They want to have an impact when they invest time. They appreciate life as a journey and they don't mind a wild ride.

I’m thankful for people of all ages who work here because all those generations are making sure we’re able to serve future generations.