The cross-generational debate about whether millennial workers are more needy or needed in the workplace has been fought for years. However, according to experts from Entrepreneur magazine and U.S. News & World Report, generation Y is likely a little of both. Boasting qualities such as creativity, social awareness and self-sufficiency, millenials have a lot of potential to become excellent employees, but they must overcome their less desirable qualities if they really want to impress employers.
Millennial workers have grown up in an age in which constant feedback is of utmost importance. They have generally been encouraged through reports and briefings in school and through family and extracurricular activities to push themselves to keep going and boost their self-esteem. In the work force, employers may see this behavior as needy. Although millennial workers should expect periodic evaluations, they should also keep in mind that managers are focused on other important tasks as well.
On the other hand, millennial workers also tend to be remarkably self-sufficient, often seeking answers and solutions themselves before going to a superior. According to research by tech company BOMGAR, more than 60 percent of millenials surveyed attempt to diagnose their own IT problems before calling the IT department at work. This is normally a positive aspect for the workplace, but millennial workers should know when to seek out new methods from outside sources.
When it comes to technology and social media knowledge, millennial workers' expertise can be a double-edged sword. On the positive side, workers can build their personal reputations and a company's brand using Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms. This is especially useful in an age when social media is a key driving force for sales and services. Joel Capperella of Entrepreneur magazine adds that this generation tends to pursue more creative solutions for problems.
Millennial workers' constant need to log on to social media and use their smartphones can also be an irritation to employers as these workers may not always know the time and place to use these technologies. They also tend to share large amounts of irrelevant information on social media, an action that has led other generations to peg millenials as narcissistic. To avoid these problems, millennial workers should be respectful of office policies for phone and social media use while only posting useful information, and managers should keep in mind that millenials normally have a lot to offer when it comes to social media campaigns.
Although they may be needy in some regards, generation Y is very much needed in the workplace. However, these workers should always remember that in a tough economy, the employer has a vast pool of candidates available to fill most positions. Millennial workers should emphasize their best traits while working to minimize neediness, narcissism and other negative stereotypes that older employers and associates may have of their generation.
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