Millennials, the generation born after 1980, are currently in the workforce, and their numbers continue to grow as they age into the majority of the workforce. Some managers view millennials as substantially different from previous generations, but a new study dispels these millennial myths. Even though some differences exist between millennials and previous generations, there is much to appreciate about this working generation.
One millennial myth is they do not possess the work ethic of older generations. While the work ethic looks different, a Business News Daily report insists millennial employees are willing to work just as hard. Millennials are ready to adapt to company structures and have high ambitions. The majority of millennials only want to work for a few companies during their careers. This millennial myth derives from the way in which this generation view its careers and their personal lives. According to a Bentley University study, millennials seek a better balance to work and family and expect a company culture that supports such a balance. Millennials are also willing to make lateral moves just to gain more employment training. Managing millennials needs a focus on providing this culture and flexibility to entice this working generation.
Another millennial myth focuses on communication styles. With the popularity of smartphones and social media, many employers believe millennials prefer an impersonal communication style. The same Bentley University study states otherwise as the majority of millennials prefer to discuss work-related issues face-to-face. At the same time, plenty of millennials enjoy using other forms of communication, and in this respect, managing millennials actually aids worker productivity. According to one management expert, millennials are comfortable incorporating new technology into a business due to their reliance on alternative communication platforms. These workers learn new programs easily, and they even expect technological change.
A third millennial myth posits millennials as self-involved, making them an improper fit for a team environment at work. Though it is true millennials do pride themselves as standing out as individuals, millennials actually have a greater sense of purpose in the community. They want to work to change perceived inequalities in society. From a management perspective, this is a positive for a team environment as millennial employees want to see their work team succeed. Millennials are willing to put in extra hours and work in unconventional environments for the good of a project or company in which they believe.
Millennials are an active part of the workforce. There are some differences that managers need to understand in order to fully integrate their millennial workers. The independence and fast-paced world of millennials is largely an asset to many companies. Some millennial myths that focus on the negative aspects of millennial productivity are simply overstated. Managers that look beyond the label realize millennials are quite similar to other generations.
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