What You Should Know About Millennials in the Workplace
At the turn of the millennium, Millennials began entering the workforce, and now they’re taking it over. Experts say that they’ll make up half the workforce by 2020. But due to misconceptions and culture clashes between Boomers or Gen X-ers and Millennials, some employers or businesses may be wary about hiring this generation, much less training them to become future managers. Part of this is due to rumors about what Millennials want in a workspace, such as bean bags and no walls. Let’s dismiss these misconceptions and take a second look at those “lazy Millennials”–and maybe even get them on track to run your business one day.
It’s true that Millennials are used to instant gratification and instant results, per the stereotype. But you can use this as a force for good within your office. Millennials’ desire not to waste time can help get meetings back on track, get creative solutions sooner, and innovate processes within your building.
Sometimes, this means allowing Millennials to bend the rules and get creative. Some older Gen X managers insist on Millennials following the same rules and “waiting their turn,” as the managers once had to do. But Millennials want the challenge of making the world better and more efficient. Give this to them, and you won’t be sorry you allowed them to bend a few older rules.
Millennials and Gen Z also don’t always see the need for face time and being tethered to an office. The younger generations grew up on wifi and digital flexibility. That bred the flexibility to get information from anywhere and at any time. They feel that much of an office’s requirements can be met via email, text, video conference, and conference calls.
Though Boomers and Gen X may see this request as another demand for personal comfort over professionalism, it can actually benefit your company with efficiency you might not have had working off of older methods.
Millennials want what they do to matter, whether it’s the meetings, their day-to-day tasks, or their job description overall. Because they grew up around terrorism and violence, they do live more in the moment. As a result, they search for meaning in their job and career. If you want to hang onto a Millennial employee, don’t let them feel that they’re easily replaced. They don’t have to feel like the most special person in the office by any means. But if they do not feel challenged, they will leave your business.
Culture of Respect
One of the top reasons Millennials leave a business is because they don’t feel valued or respected. Their one-on-one time with a manager goes overlooked, they’re mistreated in some way, or they feel they’re too replaceable. Millennials also don’t leave a company; they leave because of managers and other people they work with daily. Smart leaders adapt their company culture and dismiss or train managers who will only drive off their younger workforce.
Millennials will respond better to mentoring than discipline. While some managers and CEOs might find it hard to adapt, the ones that do will find themselves creating powerful manager-employee relationships. These create trust in the company, better team members, and a more positive company culture.
While hiring and training better managers certainly benefits Millennials, this culture of respect and valuing your employees will impact the rest of your business.
Getting Millennials on board, if you haven’t already, may seem risky to some CEOs set in their ways. But the best way to improve your business is to take risks and take a step forward. And Millennials, despite the stereotypes, are a risk worth taking.