With creative initiatives like Innovation in Milwaukee (MiKE) sprouting up regularly, Milwaukee is slowly gaining recognition as a growing creativity hub. The main idea: we want to both grow our own talent, and drive talent from elsewhere to Milwaukee, and then keep that talent in our city through the promise of economic opportunity and growth. A key component to Milwaukee’s future success in this endeavor is the need to address multi-generational workforce issues, paying extra special attention to the wants and needs of the so-called Millennials.
Millennials in the Workplace, Explained
This is the new generation stepping into the workplace, picking up where their baby boomer parents left off. They’re different than their older counterparts in that they’re looking for job qualities like more day-to-day input and situational control, quick feedback and more meaningful work. The phrase “meaningful work” meaning that this generation is looking to make a difference, even working for less money in favor of pursuing their passions. Whether it’s planting trees or selling cars, this generation is willing to work harder if they feel their work is valued by themselves, by their employers and even by their community.
These workers are looking for fun, friendly, creative environments. They don’t work for work’s sake. If a job isn’t fulfilling in a variety of ways, they’re much more likely to turn around and walk out the door, than stick around the same job (like their parents) and become lifers, who perhaps valued the long-term benefits of solid employment over ‘fun.’
See the Trend, Build and Attract Milwaukee Leaders
Milwaukee was built from the ground up, so we’re heavily rooted in old ways of thinking. We come from factories, from brick and mortar establishments where a job was a job. So where the older generation sees constant job flipping as disloyalty, the bright members of the Millennial, or younger, generation are looking for jobs and businesses that they can really engage in. For the talent Milwaukee wants, need and requires, a job is no longer ‘just a job’ – and the sooner we acknowledge this trend, the sooner Milwaukee’s creative initiatives will come to fruition and our local economy will explode.
Whether starting a new business or improving and sustaining existing businesses, we need to explore and share basic business structures that attract these bright young people. Yes, this large-scale culture shift could be potentially expensive, but it doesn’t have to be if we can pioneer standard business structures to match this growing trend that will identify and ease any transitional issues.
The growing creative culture here in Milwaukee isn’t a fleeting whim. More and more business owners are drawing, establishing and solidifying the connections between creativity, business, productivity and better living – the perfect mix for whipping up the best talent and leadership inside and outside Milwaukee. Better culture means the best and brightest talent comes right here and stays here. And that’s what we all want, because it truly benefits Milwaukee as a whole.