We hear it often: Millennials are spoiled and entitled. They are lazy and narcissistic. They are impatient and change jobs too often. In fact, most of what we hear about millennials in the workplace is negative.
Who are millennials?
Most demographers will state anyone born between 1981 and the mid-1990s. Millennials now comprise one third of the workforce, and this number is expected to increase to ~75% in the next several years.
Here are four things to know about this generation in your workforce:
1) Millennials are hard workers
Contrary to their ‘lazy’ label, the work attitude of this generation now is not that much different from young adults 30 years ago. Millennials today often view themselves and their work environments in a similar way as did young people from previous generations. Hard work looks different now that it did 30 years ago, but the millennials are no stranger to it. Research shows that 83% of American Millennials are working more than the typical 40 hours a week, with a quarter of them working more than 50 hours a week.
Bottom line: Millennials are not that different when it comes to their attitudes towards hard work. They are willing to put in the time and effort.
2) Millennials want more feedback
Every generation in the workforce wants feedback, but Millennials want more of it. They want to know when they have done a good job and where they can improve. Recognition and effective feedback are powerful motivators for Millennials and are crucial to (any) employees’ happiness, success, and engagement. For more information, check out our blog post on the importance of feedback.
3) Millennials want their work to matter
Millennials want their work to have a purpose, but how can they find meaning in their work if their goals don’t align with the company’s? This problem just doesn’t apply to Millennials. In fact, research shows that only 57% of executives identify with their company’s purpose and less than 30% of employees do. We need better ways to align employees’ individual goals to company objectives. Effective performance management starts with goal alignment.
4) Millennials value career development
Career development is crucial to recruit, engage, and retain Millennials. A recent survey found that career development matters most to Millennials in accepting a job offer. A similar study reported that offering career training and development could help keep up to 86% of Millennials from leaving their current position. Simply put, invest in your employees. Start offering employees opportunities for advancement and training. It’s worth the investment.
Did we miss anything? Let us know!