Dispelling the myth of the millennial worker
See, millennials aren’t “entitled” because they have an opinion or a set of wants. They want to contribute meaningfully to their company and community. They also have great disdain for mundane or repetitive work.
Yes, many of them show a strong sense of work-life integration. They may seamlessly switch between working hours and personal time. So some of them might not feel guilty about taking a yoga class mid-day on a Tuesday.
Need constant feedback
They’re not necessarily “needy” — constantly demanding guidance through even the slightest of problems and uncertainties. Rather, they seek feedback and help because they genuinely want to do the best possible job.
But according to a 2014 article in the Harvard Business Review, studies have shown that this desire isn’t unique to a younger generation. Not only do older workers appreciate feedback, but they actually want more of it, too.
You could do well to start implementing more feedback for all your employees if possible. Effective ways you can give and receive continual feedback are weekly check-ins with your team members and managers, reflective journals you are comfortable sharing with their team members and managers, and more detailed and consistent progress reports that frame current challenges as opportunities for growth.
Can’t or Won’t Listen
Somewhat contradictory to the last myth, some say that millennials are rebellious and not likely to listen to older generations in positions of power. At work, that could mean ignoring instructions from their boss.
Already, it’s odd how millennials working could seek feedback and instruction while also not listening to it. Some believe this, though, which might go back to the entitlement myth.
However, a 2015 study showed that millennials are more likely than Baby Boomers and Gen X’ers to believe employees should do what their employers say, even if the employee can’t see the benefit immediately.
As a result, you have older generations managing millennials. When a couple of bad apples don’t listen, it can seem like all millennials act that way. Methods to increase communication, respect, and collaboration between working millennials and older generations include joint brainstorming sessions, reflective debriefs on approaches to previous projects, and open, dialogue about preferred management styles and learning styles.
However, they don’t necessarily have their nose in the phone all the time, like some like to say. According to a 2014 study, 80% of millennials say they prefer face-to-face meetings rather than virtual ones.
This is especially true as we slowly emerge from the pandemic. Your firm most likely went at least partly remote. Millennials’ better understanding (in general) of tech can help smooth out many bumps on the road toward remote work.
In any case, the tendency for millennials to be tech-savvy can help them be more productive and efficient employees in a remote environment while helping you stay ahead of the competition.
Lack of social media etiquette
This one’s oddly pervasive, given that many millennials grew up in a world immersed in social media. You’d think growing up in such a world would equip them with good social media etiquette knowledge.
Yet many think millennials are terrible about keeping their social media clean and acceptable. They believe millennials blur their personal and professional lives for the public to see.
They were beaten over the head with “only post things you’d want your grandma to see” throughout their childhood. Thus, they understand people occasionally snoop on their social media in the professional world.
Bad with money
Millennials allegedly don’t know how to save money, invest for retirement, or generally think about their future. Instead, they spend, spend, spend with no regard for tomorrow. As a result, they’re constantly struggling to stay afloat and prepare for a rainy day.
According to a 2016 Business Insider article, the events of that and the following year (The Great Recession) destroyed trust in financial institutions among many millennials. Millennials entering the workforce around that time had slim job pickings.
This goes to show millennials are responsible and even savvy with the resources they have. They’re not reckless. They’re prudent — which can rub off onto their performance at work if you observe them. After all, many of them need that job to contribute to a financially stable and personally fulfilling life.
Millennials in the workplace: the secrets of keeping them happy
Digital technology has created a workplace – and a workplace culture – that would be almost unrecognizable to anyone who worked in an office in the 1960s and 1970s. But how does technology shape the work attitudes of those who have grown up with it – the Millennial generation?
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