In preparing to start ManagInc, a company that helps property management companies become more socially responsible, you can imagine how much reading I did about topics that not only related to my business idea – but were also very important to me personally. ManagInc’s tagline is “The Art of Managing for Success”; the point of this is that one can’t create, nurture and grow a company by focusing on spreadsheets and performance metrics. My belief is that long term sustained success, whether it was the near 800% growth my old company experienced in its last ten years, or sustained success achieved by much larger companies, comes from a focus on the people who make your success possible. Treating others the way you always wanted to be treated. Engagement and loyalty cannot be demanded – but it can be earned when you create an environment built on a caring foundation. When you care about your team and customers, guess what? They care back! That’s a formula where Everyone Can Win®.
The articles I dove into ranged from being about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), in general, to more specific areas that I felt impacted this – such as about what drives employee engagement and customer loyalty, to community service, philanthropy, environmental stewardship and more. Areas that particularly fascinated me, due to my DNA, belief system, and business philosophy, were employee engagement and customer loyalty (having created and owned a customer and employee satisfaction research for well over a decade – this was something near and dear to me).
In particular, I was fascinated with research about Millennials, their “social activist” nature, and what drives them as it relates to employment decisions, engagement at work, purchasing decisions, and lifestyle.
Beyond the research, I thought about my two sons (25 and 27 years old). We’ve always been close. I’ve always been active in their lives (I’m proud to say I am a recovering helicopter parent). And I knew many of their friends well. This continued from the early days of sleepovers, to today where their friends and they are in a very different stage of their lives. I see their passion about the world they live in. How either they have dedicated their working life to having a positive impact on society, or how they invest their free time in the same types of important areas. And how they define themselves by their whole being, not just what they do from 9-5. My sons’ own passions were inspirational to me – and certainly played a role in creating my new business.
Given the challenges our world and society face today, everyone should be applauding the Millennial generation’s dedication to something other than work and a paycheck. From articles I’ve read to conversations with many executives, I continue to be blown away by how many Baby Boomers can’t seem to accept that Millennials are different, wonderfully different, and that one must adjust – the old rules just don’t apply to Millennials. Accept this, adjust and good things will follow. Or be stubborn, fight it, but be prepared for high employee and customer turnover, a poor online reputation, and a negatively impacted bottom line.
Now we come to a wonderful article I read about Millennials. Early in the article the author shares how a popular bumper sticker his (my) generation used to slap on our cars exemplified the difference between the two generations. The infamous bumper sticker read, "He Who Dies With the Most Toys Wins" (FYI, I never owned one of these!). He then discusses how Baby Boomers and Millennials are different – in particular regarding motivations, work, work-life balance, and contributing to the greater good. It validated all of the research I had done, as well as my personal beliefs. By sharing this article, I hope more executives will take the time to read it, ponder it, and make adjustments. It is possible for everyone to reach their goals, and I believe it starts with focusing on those who make success possible. Everyone Can Win®.