How To Turn Millennials Into The Best Funeral Home Employees EverApril 19th, 2017
Earlier this month, the funeralOne team was down in Nashville, Tennessee for the annual International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association (ICCFA) conference!
Not only is ICCFA one of our favorite events of the year because we get to meet with amazing funeral professionals from all over the world, but it also brings together some of the brightest and most innovative funeral minds together under one roof to talk about the future of funerals. And to make sure you, at home, get in on the insights, we’re recapping some of our favorite conversations here on our funeralOne blog… enjoy!
Have you heard the news? Millennials are taking over the planet! And we’re not just talking about on Facebook and Instagram, or in the target demographic of families that you serve. They’re taking over the funeral profession too.
It’s true! In 2015, Millennials became the largest generation to ever enter the American workforce, and they will be 75% of your funeral home workforce in 2030. Now, before you go discounting that fact because 2030 sounds like a far off, distant place, keep in mind that that’s only 13 years away. That year is pre-retirement for many funeral professionals out there who have invested their life into their funeral business and aren’t quite sure of how to hand over the reins just yet… especially to America’s most controversial (and, let’s be honest, often misunderstood) generation.
The truth is, Millennials are a critical part of your team going forward and there’s no getting around the fact that they are going to be a central part of your funeral home’s future. But, if you allow them, they will also be one of the most impactful and influential generations to come into your funeral home in a long time.
To learn more about how funeral professionals can attract, retain and thrive with the upcoming generation of Millennial funeral pros, we sat down for Mark Jorgenson’s (a Baby Boomer and professional recruiter) and Mike Jorgenson’s (a Millennial and former youth pastor) session at ICCFA 2017 all about recruiting and managing the Millennial Workforce. Here’s a glimpse into some of the advice they gave…
How Your Funeral Home Can Attract Millennials
Millennials want to be a part of something more than just a typical job or career. They want to be a part of something bigger. So when it comes to attracting passionate, driven Millennials to work at your funeral home, you need to be able to show them the difference that they are going to make.
Mark put it best when he gave an example of how three different people could give completely unique descriptions for what was actually same job:
- “I am laying brick.”
- “I am building a building.”
- “I am building the foundation of a church where people will be able to come together, worship, share stories and live a better life.”
The third description is the one that Millennials are most attracted to. They want to see how their work will be integral to the community. They want to meet other businesses in town that you work with each day, and they want to hear directly from the families that you have helped in the past to learn first-hand how they could impact those around them.
Millennials also like flexibility in the workplace more than any other generation. In fact, they are twice as likely to be bored at work than Baby Boomers. But this is not because they are lazy and don’t want to work. Instead, a lot of it is related to the fact that this new, high-tech generation can accomplish the same task as someone older than them 3-4x more quickly, thanks to their digitalization. Therefore, offer them more responsibilities and tasks to make up for their multi-tasking, fast-paced nature of work. They will embrace it and do more for your funeral home in a shorter amount of time.
How Your Funeral Home Can Retain Millennials
So if Millennials are the most bored-at-work generation that we’ve ever seen, how can you possibly expect them not to get bored and burned out at your funeral home? First, be a coach to them… not a boss. Millennials wanted greater accessibility to management than most other professionals in your funeral home. They want regular check-ins to know how they are doing – for both the good and the bad feedback. In fact, 3 out 4 Millennials feel as though they are in the dark about their performance, and many wish that their company’s review process was better. So give them that constant feedback and continuing education that they desire.
Speaking of continuing education, Millennials tend to choose jobs or professions because they are genuinely interested and attracted the career they are pursuing, and they constantly want to learn more. So teach them the tricks of your trade; don’t just assign them mundane, meaningless tasks. If a Millennial is coming to work for your funeral home, they are doing so for a reason. They want to learn about what you do and how you do it, so take them under your wing and embrace the teaching opportunity.
How Your Funeral Home Can Thrive With Millennials
Too often Millennials get a bad wrap as a needy, spoiled generation that had everything handed to them… even when they didn’t deserve it. (What on earth are participation trophies?) But that doesn’t mean their generation is worth writing off all together. Many funeral homes and businesses across the country would be surprised to find just how much success and growth their business might experience by bringing a hard-working, driven Millennial onto their team.
They key to thriving with a Millennial funeral professional on your team is to invest in them and take advantage of the unique skills that they bring to the table. For example, Millennials are the most marketed to generation in history, and the have an innate ability to sniff out poor quality in advertising and messaging. So use this skill and their marketing intuition to your advantage. Have them give feedback in marketing meetings, or ask them to manage your funeral home’s Facebook or Twitter page. Many would be more than happy to do so.
Also be sure to actually allow them to invest in your company creatively. Invite them in to help solve problems or brainstorm as part of the creative process. They bring a new perspective and opinion to the table, and given the fact that their peers are slowly becoming your funeral home’s most influential audience, it doesn’t hurt to have their input in the mix.
How is YOUR funeral home embracing the Millennial generation, both on your staff and in the way you market to them as consumers? Be sure to let us know in the comments below.
If you want to learn how you can make your funeral home’s marketing materials (especially your most important marketing tool: your website) more friendly to the ever-important Millennial generation, click here to talk to one of our website success specialists today!
A special thanks to Mark Jorgensen, President of Global Recruiters of Cincinnati, and Mike Jorgensen, M. DIV, for their wonderful ICCFA session, The Millennial Workforce: Recruiting Implications and Career Management.