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Mystified by Millennials?

Millennial employees – the largest generation in U.S. history – can be confounding to their generation X and baby boomer colleagues and managers. What resonates with older colleagues can be meaningless to millennials. Some difference are due to life stage, while others are unique to the age cohort. Either way, millennials are currently 35 percent of the 20-65 workforce, and poised to become 50 percent in the next 10 years.

The Detroit Regional Chamber’s HealthForward initiative and ROC Group are seeking regional businesses to participate in a study to understand what millennials value in the workplace. This study will explore:

  • Who is the “employer voice of authority” for millennial employees?
  • What does a corporate mission mean to employees for whom personal mission is paramount?
  • What messages resonate with today’s workforce? Are messages framed by older bosses heard by younger workers? What techniques get attention and why?
  • Do millennial employees really want their employers to reach them via personal email or texting? What tactics will be embraced best – and used?
  • How can we help today’s younger employees, who value health more than any cohort before them, become tomorrow’s smart consumers of health care? And what can make biometric tracking and preventive care meaningful to employees too young to need screenings like colonoscopies?

ROC Group will conduct three one-hour focus groups during the course of a single day: two with millennial employees and one with older employees. This is a qualitative, directional research effort using either in-person focus groups at a single location, or group online discussion to engage with remote employees. Participants will also be asked to complete a brief survey. Pre-group preparation will include a discussion with corporate HR/benefits and communication representatives.

Employers will be able to add up to five custom questions to the focus group and survey. Participating employers will receive both individual and aggregated results. ROC Group will develop a suggested high-level communication strategy for one small and one large employer to provide example ideas for Chamber members.

The study will be conducted in July and August, with results shared in September and October. Employers will represent a mix of sizes, industries and locations.

For more information, please contact Jonathan So, senior director of health care initiatives at the Detroit Regional Chamber, at 313.596.0449, or Jan Burnham, president and co-founder of ROC Group, at 312.440.0300 or