If you are looking to add passionate, focused employees to your workforce and want to hire individuals who have the potential to stay with your company for the long term, it’s time to take a closer look at millennials. The Pew Research Center defines millennials as those born “after 1980” who will “come of age in the New Millennium.”
Since millennials make up about a quarter of the current American population, and represent workers in their late 30s to early 20s. These are truly the workers of today. They are coming of age and, thus, are in line for higher-level positions. Whether you are managing them or working for them, understanding millennials in the workforce is essential in today's economic market.
Millennials Are More Than Their Stereotypes
Much has already been written about millennials and the stereotypes that surround them—yet this generation is more than just what these common myths convey. Millennials are excellent multitaskers who are highly driven when motivated properly. They are community players who want to be part of something meaningful. In fact, many of the previously discussed characteristics of millennials can translate into excellent skills that enhance the workplace, when viewed appropriately.
Managing Millennials? Know What They Want
Most Millennial workers have clearly defined ideas of what they want. When hiring a millennial, it is important to find ways to motivate them by understanding what they want and creating jobs that fit.
So, what is it that a millennial wants in a job? What will bring out their hard-working nature? Some of the features millennials want to see in their jobs include:
- Flexibility – A company that values work-life balance will draw more qualified talent.
- Collaboration – This generation has a strong sense of community, and thus enjoys working on projects in a team-oriented manner. Create positions that allow millennials to work together with other employees to reach a common goal.
- Transparency – Honesty is important to millennials, so managers and leadership need to be open and transparent with their workforce to attract this generation.
- Instant gratification – While this can be seen as a negative aspect of millennials, companies that can deliver recognition quickly for hard work will see job satisfaction increase and retain more talented people. Programs that provide rewards for reaching goals work very well to motivate Millennials.
Working for a Millennial? Here’s What to Do
Now that millennials have been in the workplace for years, they are no longer just the upcoming talent. Many have risen to positions of leadership, especially in the technology, healthcare, and financial services fields. So, what should you do if you find yourself in the position of working for a millennial?
First, understand the characteristics of this generation. Millennials feel strongly about the things they value. If you can find out what this is and jump on board, you will find greater success.
This generation was raised in an age when the internet was always available. This means that they are used to being connected 24/7. They may expect you to be, too. You may get work emails or texts during your personal time. While this might be frustrating, you can also enjoy greater freedom on work time, because many millennials may not care if you answer a personal email on company time, as long as the work is being accomplished.
Finally, if you find yourself working for a millennial, treat your boss with respect. Unfortunately, this generation is used to being disrespected by older people simply because of when they were born. Value the leadership and the skills they bring to the table, and your boss will reciprocate by valuing your contributions to the team.
Millennials are growing into a tremendous force in today’s workplace. Whether you are working with them, managing them, or working for them, take some time to learn more about this generation and the benefits they may bring to your company.
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