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Career & Finance Fridays

Employment & Career

Millennials in the Workplace

I am a millennial - however, I am not currently in any workplace. I work from home and care for my small children.

Sometimes I feel like we get a really bad reputation as millennials - that we are lazy, entitled and just all-around bad employees. But those are just stereotypes. I am the first to admit that stereotypes exist because a portion of the group in question exhibits certain behaviors. So the truth is that some millennials are lazy, entitled and bad employees. 

There are also many good employees who are millennials - I know some of them myself! In fact, I used to be one. They are hard working, passionate about what they do, and really want to make a difference. 

If I speak for myself, one of the big things that matters to me as an employee is having meaning in my work and believing in the organization’s purpose. Money matters too - I want to be fairly compensated for the value that I bring to the job; however, having meaning in my work and a good organizational culture matter more to me than the highest wage possible.

I definitely know people in both camps - I have some friends/acquaintances who I think are not the greatest employees. They definitely show some entitlement - and it’s sneaky. The kind of entitlement that is hard to define or call out. One particular friend that I’m thinking of recently got let go from his job. I don’t know the particulars, but I do know that he is not someone I would want as an employee working for me.

All in all, I think the biggest thing in hiring employees is finding the right fit for the job - the generation matters less than the fit and attitude of the person!

Recommended Book

Not Everyone Gets A Trophy

Jan 11, 2016
ISBN: 9781119190752

Interesting Fact #1

66% of millennials are employed full-time.


Interesting Fact #2

35% of the US workforce are millennials.


Interesting Fact #3

Millennials will represent 75% of the global workforce by 2025.


Quote of the day

β€œIt's difficult to get on with people of another generation, even when they don't try to impose their way of seeing things on us.” ― Carmen Laforet

Article of the day - 5 Truths About Millennials in the Workplace

Managers and HR leaders often grumble about the trouble with younger workers, particularly Millennials, in the workplace.

But much of the frustration is based on stereotypes about younger workers, partial truths, and Millennial mythology, rather than fact.

Our book, What Millennials Want From Work, presents a complete and complex picture of Millennials in the workplace. The book is based on survey data from more than 25,000 Millennials from 22 countries and more than 300 organizations, plus 29,000 people from other generations from the same organizations.

As the book notes, you can provide an environment where Millennials can be both happy and effective — if you focus on what actually is important to them.

HR leaders, executives, and line managers looking to do a better job of leading multigenerational teams should take note of these findings and recommendations, which will help with attracting and retaining Millennials in the workplace:

Millennials in the Workplace Are Both Entitled and Hardworking

Millennials want to have a say and contribute their ideas. They resist doing repetitive or boring work. They want to have a life outside of work, and expect enough flexibility to allow them to fulfill both their personal and professional commitments. But entitled doesn’t mean lazy. Millennials work long hours, don’t expect work to stop when they leave the office, and are quite motivated. They want to contribute beyond their job descriptions and move up in the organization.

  • Minimize repetitive work and engage Millennials in the workplace to improve processes so everyone’s work is more efficient.
  • Make use of their willingness to work long hours, but don’t take advantage of them.
  • Encourage employees’ desire to contribute ideas, and appreciate their willingness to speak up. Promote a psychologically safe culture at work.

Millennials in the Workplace Are Both Needy and Independent

Younger workers are often scorned for being needy — hanging on to parents and seeking constant praise and approval. While Millennials in the workplace do want support, feedback, mentoring, and to feel appreciated, that doesn’t make them dependent. They actually are being quite strategic. They think about what they need to be successful, and that’s what they ask for.

  • Let them know how they are doing — frequently. Provide them with mentors and frequent feedback.
  • Provide support when things get tough.
  • Let them control as much as possible. Don’t micromanage.

Millennials in the Workplace Are Both Determined to Do Good and Do Well

Do Millennials want to save the world? Yes. But doing good isn’t a higher priority than doing well. Millennials in the workplace want work that both enables them to contribute to society in positive ways and that rewards them appropriately. One isn’t a substitute for the other.

  • Be a good corporate citizen.
  • Make sure Millennials understand how your business is having a positive impact and how their work directly contributes. Younger workers in particular care about corporate social responsibility initiatives.
  • Pay them what they are worth. Millennials in the workplace know what standard compensation is — so don’t try to hide pay information from them.

Millennials in the Workplace Are High Tech and High Touch 

Millennials are comfortable with technology. They have grown up with it and it’s woven into their friendships and everyday activities. Millennials love technology at work because it reduces drudgery and saves them time. But just because they spend so much time attached to their devices doesn’t mean that other people aren’t essential. In fact, feeling like they have a community at work is a determining factor in Millennials’ organization commitment, job satisfaction, engagement, and retention.

  • Let Millennials use their preferred technology to support their work, if possible.
  • Consider setting up reverse mentoring programs so your digital native Millennials can help more experienced, but less tech-savvy, workers.
  • Communicate with them in person and often, especially for anything related to compensation, development, or performance.

Millennials in the Workplace Are Both Committed and Leaving

The research shows that Millennials are committed — they’re mostly getting what they need; they don’t want to leave; they want to move up in the organization. But being committed isn’t blind loyalty or staying no matter what. At least 1 in 3 Millennials are assessing the environment for better options.

  • Help Millennials in the workplace get development, especially if they’re new to management roles. Provide them support and training to help them develop the critical skills frontline managers need.
  • Give good reasons for them to stay. People don’t leave — Millennials included — if they don’t believe they can get a better combination of pay, responsibility, development and advancement potential, and work-life control.
  • Reduce overload and work-life imbalance — they are real issues that will drive Millennials away.

What This Means About Millennials in the Workplace

Fundamentally, Millennials want to do interesting work, with people they enjoy, for which they are well paid — and still have enough time to live their lives.

Which makes them pretty much like everyone else.

Question of the day - What is the first thing you think when you hear of millennials in the workplace?

Employment & Career

What is the first thing you think when you hear of millennials in the workplace?