How Social Media Has Turned Perception Into Reality

There’s an overwhelming belief that Millennials don’t take advice from elders.

But here’s a spin on that: mentors are sought out in the workplace more than ever.

Young professionals will turn to co-workers for guidance.

Social media has become a source for recommendations.

For older generations, the concept of following a stranger’s advice is odd, but times have changed.

Yelp is the go-to source for restaurant reviews.

Instagram is the wellness answer to how to stay healthy.

Twitter is the forum to find out the latest sports and news trends.

In the corporate world, companies need to understand this tendency. There is a direct correlation to management style. Coaching is most effective. Why? Because people don’t want to be told what to do. They want to make informed choices.

Look deeper into consumerism, people want to be more educated these days. Take for example, Carvana. They’ve taken the salesperson completely out of the equation. Buyers get the information they want to make a decision and when they’re ready to purchase it’s as easy as pushing a button for delivery.

Social media has become a market research tool to identify what people want. Smart companies know that consumers determine what products/services they want to buy.

Social media has turned perception into reality by crowdsourcing information. Brand ambassadors hold more power than actual companies now because their influence is rooted in a personal relationship. Influencers are technically strangers to most, but if you’re a loyal follower it feels like they are speaking directly to you.

If you’ve ever tried to sell an idea, it’s much easier for someone else to promote it than yourself (insert testimonial here). That’s where social media comes in. Video, in particular, has given your opinion a voice. Never in history has there been a time where your view matters more.

Inspire or be inspired.

Why Feedback Beats Performance Reviews

Performance reviews are like going to the dentist. They suck.

Even if you get a positive response, the build-up always provides anxiety.

Managers, I’m here to say there’s a better way: (daily, or at least weekly) feedback.

Millennials may seem more high maintenance than generations in the past, but deal with it.

As their manager, how well you’re doing your job relies on how well your team is doing theirs. With true leadership the bucks stops at the top. Before blaming others for their shortcomings, ask yourself if you’ve equipped them to do their job effectively.

Performance reviews are lazy. They scream, “I don’t want to invest in giving you feedback consistently so instead I’ll wait until later to deliver the bad news.

Newsflash: the best performance reviews should NEVER be a surprise.

If people know what they are supposed to do and how to do it, you’ve done your job as a manager.

Effort is controlled by people.

Skills are controlled by managers.

This isn’t a cop-out for workers, but instead a challenge to ask your manager when you don’t know the answers. Managers, 50% of your time will be spent on interpersonal issues at work. If that sounds overwhelming, don’t take the job!

Coaches are the current model for great managers. They are hands-on, communicative and focus on helping those around them perform better.

Companies, if you’re still running performance reviews for anything more than raise qualifications stop.

Procedures need to be evaluated for their purpose otherwise you’re in jeopardy of upholding tradition for tradition’s sake.

Consistent feedback is better.

How Companies Can Offer Work Life Balance Perks

Work life balance is a desired state by most (excluding workaholics/those married to their career).

But talking about it versus providing it can be challenging.

As a company, how can you creatively offer this perk?

According to this Forbes article, Millennials crave healthcare benefits which fit under the category of: wellness.

Instead of looking at work life balance as separating your personal from professional life, picture it as one encompassing circle. If you do that offering wellness becomes simple.

Let me explain. Mental health has recently become a priority to workers because it’s preventative. Rather than offering gym membership reimbursements, offer Headspace or a Life Coach as an alternative. As long as it positively affects the company’s bottom line, what difference does it make what “means” helps achieve that goal?

Consider the paradigm shift from a recruitment standpoint. Companies should be looking at ways to enhance worker’s personal lives since that has the biggest impact on performance.

When I work as an external coach my goal is for each employee is for them to leave better than when they came in (to meet with me). That means doing whatever it takes to minimize distractions so workers can get focused. Usually their “issues” have nothing to do with work. If something’s wrong relationally outside of work, it’s brought into the office. That’s what I mean by one encompassing circle.

Most management philosophies emphasize getting workers focused, but in my opinion it’s just the opposite. Hone in on removing distractions and you’re freed up to do your best work.

This translates directly to work life balance because focusing on wellness tactics that actually work matter. Understanding the “why” behind people’s motivations is key to unlocking optimal productivity. Evaluating current programs, gathering employee feedback and ultimately measuring data will reveal the wellness solutions you’re searching for.

Brand Intimacy: Loyalty Defined By Millennials

Brand intimacy is defined as:

“leveraging and strengthening the emotional bond between a person and a brand”

Apple, Disney and You Tube were voted the Top 3 most “intimate” companies by Millennials.

This metric is crucial because branding is about how you make a customer feel. Not to be mistaken by what a company defines its brand as.

In a customer-centric economy the feedback your customers provide shapes your brand. Apple, Disney and You Tube have done the best job in terms of making Millennials feel good about their purchase.

But what these three companies offer is much deeper than financial satisfaction, they provide an excellent experience.

If branding is rooted in how you feel, transactions aren’t good enough. The way someone interacts and associates with your product/service determines whether they’ll become a returning customer or not.

Relevant brands focus on empathy. They try to relate to the customers desires. It’s much more than value, packaging and delivery.

Another note is Apple, Disney and You Tube are not trendy. They’ve established their identity over time and have a strong fanbase that thrives even amidst a recession.

No company is fool proof or indestructible, but in a world that bombards people with marketing the only way to survive is through referrals and devoted brand ambassadors.

Brand intimacy is the new customer loyalty and Millennials are leading the way with “all the feels.”

4 Life Lessons Millennials Learn From Childhood Sports

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

Trying to be a leader in the company that you work for is not always an easy thing to do. You have to stand up and be the guiding force for a number of employees; stress, much? Millennials want to have it all and then some, and rightly so, as long as they are willing to work for it, the world is their oyster. The thing is, not everyone necessarily knows how to be a good leader, and that’s where you need to look back into the past to work it out.

Almost every single child between the ages of five and fifteen participates in some kind of organized sport. Participating in sport can offer many different lessons to those involved. There are just certain values that sport teaches you that you carry into your adulthood without even realizing it most of the time. Millennials who want to be great leaders should look back on their past and draw some inspiration from their time on the field. Below, we have some of the life lessons that participating in sport can get for you, so that you can be a far more effective leader in the office today.

Discipline. One of the things that you would have learned on those weekends at the baseball diamond is what is a fungo bat used for. You’d remember how it was used to practice, practice, practice and your coach would always use it to help you to learn how to hit a fly ball. The discipline that you would teach yourself by being determined to hit every one of those poppers can carry over to your current role. You need to remember to push yourself toward success, and that’s exactly what baseball teaches.

Respect. Playing in a team includes respecting those around you and your leaders. You may be the person in charge of your team, but you’ll have a whole management board above you that you need to listen to. Their inspirational effect on you will teach you how to have respect for their leadership and help you to learn how to be a better leader yourself.

Overcoming Adversity. Sports are hard. Not many people could get up and do what an athlete could do on a daily basis. Everyone goes through hard times with their career, athletes included, and you can really bring your skills of overcoming adversity to the office to help you get out of your own rut.

Resilience. As with the sports field, you cannot always win at work. There will be times that you will fail, but a failure is nothing but a first attempt in learning. You can overcome whatever you need to with the right level of resilience.

We’re not suggesting you hunker down with the latest video game in the hope of learning sporty life lessons, but there is so much that sports could teach you. Drawing on old inspiration can reignite the fire that you feel in your job – don’t be afraid to grab it with both hands.

My 3 Thoughts On This Millennials And Their Careers Infographic

1. Single vs. Promotion – Context people. 41% said they would end a relationship for a life-changing promotion. Those are single people talking. For those who are in their 20’s and career matters more, you aren’t interested in a relationship anyway. For those who are in their 30’s, men and women differ on this, the pressure you feel to get married and start a family will change your answer. Hypothetical vs. reality is much different. Career may come before relationships for Millennials, but it doesn’t mean they don’t care or that stereotypes are accurate.

2. I’m Picky – Same as when people respond, “he/she’s not my type.” That’s your ego talking. Why admit you’re hurt? Instead blow it off, blame someone/thing else or defend your standards. Relationships are about compromise, but don’t confuse that with settling. People who reach their 40’s and are still single are unwilling to change their lifestyle. They say they want to find someone, but what they really want is to live on their terms. No matter how self-confident you are, anyone can leave you. Living in fear isn’t the answer, but understanding it’s more about what you give than receive in a relationship is healthy.

3. Time to Settle Down35 is the average age based on what? Reality shows like the Bachelor, Married At First Sight and Are You The One are far from it. Saying you’re ready for marriage isn’t like stating you’re hungry. Timing is the biggest factor. You can’t force something to happen if it’s not there. “35” may be your ideal age, but your partner may feel differently. Expectations lead to disappointment. It’s fine to have them, but similar to a business plan you better be ready to pivot. Once again this is based from an “I” statement. Problem is a relationship is a “we” scenario. Rather than focus on an age, focus on the person you want to be with and go from there.

Quirky Markets That Are Worth Investing In

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

Millennials may not be known for being a very rich generation, but that doesn’t mean that they should completely give up any hopes of making worthwhile investments. No matter how little they have got saved up in their savings account, it will still be worth considering putting some of that cash into the investment markets. That’s because investments do a lot more work compared to savings that are left in regular bank accounts, and over time investments can increase considerably in value.

Not too sure what to invest in? Here are some quirky markets that could be worthy of your cash.

Burger Restaurants

The food industry is going through a renaissance at the minute. Thanks to people posting about what they are eating on blogs and Instagram, lots of restaurants and cafes are thriving. And some that specialize in certain foods are doing a lot better than others. Take burgers, for example. They have been one of the most popular foods for decades, and that popularity doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. So, you might want to consider buying some stock in a burger chain.

Self-Driving Cars

AI is no longer restricted to sci-fi movies – in fact, it’s about to become mainstream in the form of self-driving cars. Companies, such as Elon Musk’s Tesla, have been developing these types of cars for quite some time now, and they are almost ready to be used by the public. So, if you want to invest in some space-age tech, then this could be the best option for you. Make sure you buy earlier rather than later so you can get stock at cheap prices before it starts to take off!

Water Companies

Water might seem fairly boring and straight-edge, but there are actually some really cool developments going on in this industry right now. Companies are developing new tech and tools, like oil water separators, that can help protect the environment from any potential contamination. The more nifty tools like this that are created, then water companies’ stocks will be likely to rise by quite a bit!

Streaming Services

Everyone seems to stream their TV shows and movies these days. Now that services like Netflix and Amazon Prime have become so popular, more and more of these kinds of businesses are offering new and exciting streaming services. And as more people switch from traditional TV-viewing to these streaming platforms, they will be a very safe place to put your investments.

Organic Food Companies

There has also been a major increase in the amount of organic food that people are buying and consuming. To keep up with this demand, more companies seem to be opening their doors to customers every month or so. Again, as with the streaming services industry, the organic foods market seems like a good one to watch.

It’s important to remember that your money isn’t always guaranteed to grow when you invest is – it could also drop in value. But, with the right research, you will stand a good chance of picking the best investments for you.

How to Manage Millennials: 8 Ways to Do It Right

A recruiter must never be tired to read and research about the millennials; the majority of your employees are a part of Generation Y. While some view them in a negative light, they can be pretty productive and over-achieving when handled right.

Millennials believe they are above their jobs. After working from 8-9 hours a day, they will focus on their hobbies and leisure once they step out your office. Allowing your Millennial employees to have a work-life balance will refuel their energy and recharge their productivity battery.

Millennials love to have multiple goals. They spend a lot of money on traveling to focus on themselves then spread that energy to the people around them.

Start by providing a flexible work environment. This means that you trust them enough to manage their time properly and deliver on their tasks with flying colors.

Infographic by Guthrie-Jensen.

Are Chatbots Destroying Customer Service?

When’s the last time you visited a site and immediately greeted by a chatbot?

We do the majority of our shopping online and prefer not to be bothered by a salesperson.

Chatbots seem very impersonal, but the last thing you want is to be hounded by customer service while you’re browsing.

This is much different than the retail experience where employees usually greet and ask if you’d like any assistance. Since retail has been dying stores have taken a different approach and tend to let shoppers browse on their own now.

The bottom line is: customers are educated and want the freedom to do things themselves; they’ll initiate support if needed. Between reviews and recommendations online platforms such as Amazon and Walmart are self-service e-commerce sites.

There’s evidence that Millennials spearheaded this movement, but with the convenience of home delivery it’s generation-wide accepted.

As a business owner the shift that needs to happen is creating a sales free process. That doesn’t mean eliminate customer service completely, but make the buying transaction as efficient as possible.

For example, with the online SAT/ACT prep company I own, this student profile form collects the same information an initial phone call would. It offers parents the opportunity to input the information on their own time without having to talk to anyone.

Chatbots aren’t destroying customer service, in fact they are enhancing it by allowing the shopper to reach out when they are ready. Self-service is the wave of the present and companies must adapt or die.

Millennials, Here’s How To Use Your Tax Return

It’s that time of the year again where you’re stressing about filing your taxes on time. When you finally receive that refund check in the mail, it might be tempting to treat yourself. But you should think of it as money that should have been on your paychecks to begin with, and not as a bonus. Review your current financial situation and then allocate where your refund should go. Here are some tips and tricks to get the most bang for your buck.

Student loans can be a huge burden, especially with high-interest rates these days. To pay them off quicker, refinancing your student loans can make a huge difference! It’s hard to focus on your future financial growth with debt tying you down and companies like Earnest help you consolidate your debt all in one place. You can find out more information on how to do that here.

Even if you know your stuff, don’t be afraid to get professional advice by talking to a credible financial advisor that can find possible missed deductions and opportunities. With the right amount of organization and planning, tax season will become a breeze!