How to foster quality in the Millennials Sharing Economy

Successful business like Uber and Airbnb prove that the Millennial’s sharing economy is here to stay. 

A greater number of customers are able to get services that are more affordable and available for everyone. What about quality on those new offerings?

Quality culture in the millennials sharing economy

Nowadays you can travel by ride-sharing with Uber, eat at someone else’s house with Cookapp, rent your empty rooms on Airbnb or communicate with a client on the other side of the world for free through WhatsApp, Skype or Hangout. Some years ago you would have never thought about sharing a book before publishing it, but today a lot of companies offer their e-books for free or promote free chapters. Even some conferences are free, like Ted talks and some webinars on-line.

All these new companies and new strategies are centered on sharing resources and offering more affordable products to a greater number of customers. In the internet world people are starting to value again face to face connections and closer partnerships. Millennials or members of the Y Generation, the youngest generation of consumers born from 1980 to the early 2000s want services that are more tailored made to them. Instead of 5 star hotels which you never get to talk to the manager, they prefer boutique aparts where you can talk to the owner and eat homemade pancakes or share a family room. And they also want different jobs.

Work satisfaction

More than one-in-three American workers today are Millennials (adults ages 18 to 34 in 2015), and this year they surpassed Generation X to become the largest share of the American workforce, according to new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data, so employers should start caring about them instead of feeling threat. Millennials are looking for different experiences at work. A Harvard Business Review research shows that happy employees have, on average, 31% higher productivity; their sales are 37% higher and their creativity is three times higher. Researchers at Gallup found that retail stores that scored higher on employee life satisfaction generated $21 more in earnings per square foot of space than the other stores, adding $32 million in additional profits for the whole chain. 54% of them even plan to start their own business because they don’t feel comfortable in the current environments.

What are Millennials looking for?

One of the differentiators of the Millennials is that they look forward to joining companies which have a culture that matches their values. Fostering the implementation of quality methodologies like Lean and Six Sigma can help us in this journey, but we need to make sure we consider millennials needs so that they really embrace the quality culture. Peer-to-peer moneymaking opportunities are all around us but, in order to ensure sustainability of those businesses, product and service quality are still key. As Edwin Garro, ASQ influential voice from Costa Rica, mentioned in his last blog A Day with the future of Quality, Millennials and the next generations they are the future of quality: “quality and productivity teenagers give hope to our profession.   I view their generation with a lot of optimism”.

Quality practices

In order to foster quality practices in any kind of company, no matter if it’s big or small, if it offers a service or a manufactured product, quality need to be part of the culture set.

Culture is built over time, and learnt by example, so the reinforcement of behaviors is key in its design. Even though all the businesses already have a culture set, sometimes it is not the right one to achieve the objectives defined in the annual plans or to succeed in this new economy, so new behaviors need to be learnt and promoted to allow new generations to feel happy in our business and give the best of themselves to customers. As I mentioned in my previous post “Instill a culture of happiness and quality will follow”, I have found out that there are 5 main behaviors, a sharing culture set that need to be fostered in a company through HR politics to allow a quality culture to flourish at the same time that the sharing philosophy. It’s up to you which way to go to succeed in the Sharing Economy!

What does your company do to instill a quality culture in Millennials?

Luciana Paulise – CEO Biztorming


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