Millennials, those graduating from college between 2003- 2018, are expected to comprise 40% of the workforce by the year 2020.
And yet, this generation is plagued by negative characteristics describing their work ethic: no drive, lazy, no respect, refusing to pay their dues.
The conflict between Millennials and seemingly every other generation, including baby boomers, Gen Xers and Gen Yers (but especially baby boomers) is that while other generations value work as a definition of who they are, millennials don’t view work as something that defines them.
Millennials view their job as a way to pursue their passion—and the hard reality is that many of us have a job, not because it’s our passion, but because it pays the bills.
What Millennials value in a job is not the same as their older counterparts. In fact, studies claim that Millennials seek flexibility and are willing to work for less pay if it means fewer hours in the office. A study by MTV cites that nine out of 10 Millennials want a workplace to be fun—a huge contrast from their preceding generations.
So obviously Millennials seem to have mixed up priorities from what most companies want: hard-working, self-sufficient individuals who will do anything it takes to make the company better.
But don’t be fooled: Millennials are all of those things and more.
Here are some reasons why hiring millennials can actually help your business and what you can learn from this new generation.
Start Operating with Theory Y
There are two management-style theories: Theory X and Theory Y. Theory X is how most businesses operate: a hard micro-management type of style that oppresses creativity and ignores the human condition. Theory Y is its counterpart, which states that when managers support their team and meat their needs, workers will be in a better state and more inclined to naturally want to help the company succeed.
The problem is too often managers forget what it’s like to be a worker bee, and insist on hoisting an iron fist as a way to motivate employees—which seldom works. Studies have long proven: you scratch our back, we’ll scratch yours. A happy employee equals a happy business.
While many employers may see millennials’ incessant need to be connected as a downside, in times of crisis and emergency, they’re the ones who will get back to you within a few seconds because they’re always connected.
Baby boomers may be shutting down their workstations at 4:59 pm, but millennials are notorious for checking their emails after work hours. Furthermore, their constant connection to the outside world means they’re more in tune with your customers. They see what’s trending and what the sentiment is surrounding your company.
The reality is that most millennials are graduating with a skillset that rivals even the most seasoned of your current employees. Millennials understand new technology at warp speed and can help bring your business into the 21st century.