Millennials definitely have a reputation. Sometimes a bad one, sometimes a good one–but either way, millennials have become a much discussed group of people. The millennial generation refers to those born between 1981 and 1996. They are known not only for their cliched preferences for ‘avocado toast’ or their attempts at ‘adulting,’ but also for the facts that as a generation, millennials are better educated than those who came before them, and that they are moving towards marriage and family life much later than previous generations.
With even the youngest members of the millennial generation into their adulthood years, chances are that you will find yourself working with a millennial employee. Though certain stereotypes may lead you to believe that millennials are self-entitled and lazy, that’s not the case. They might just think about things a little bit differently than you do.
This youngest generation in the workforce has plenty to offer our companies that will help them to grow and succeed. Here’s why.
1. Millennials are better educated
According to the Pew Research Center, about 39% millennials (25 -37) have a Bachelor’s Degree, which is much higher than the 15% of the Silent Generation and 25% of Baby Boomers. With degrees in their pockets, this generation is ready to jump in to a career.
2. Millennials are more diverse
As a generation, millennials encompass more ethnic and racial diversity than previous generations. Not only are they more diverse, but they care about diversity and inclusion in the workplace in an authentic way. This is a positive for you because a McKinsey study showed, “Companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35 percent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.”
3. Millennials care about values and engagement
The key component here is that millennials care. First of all, they care about the values of the company. That goes for companies they work for and purchase goods/services from. In fact, 70% of millennials in the United States consider a company’s values when making a purchase decision.
You can use your millennial employee to help make your company one who not only strives to help others, but they can also teach you how to share your values with the millennial market.
Millennials also care about their place in the company. On the whole, millennials do not want to be just a cog in the wheel. They want to have a stake in the company (that doesn’t necessarily have to be monetary) and to be actively engaged. As Emily Disston, VP of People & Culture at BetterCloud, points out, “… Millennials want to own a project, run with it, and make a real, measurable difference.”
This concept may go against traditional structures that encourage employees to pay their dues and work their way up, but instead of letting it rub you the wrong way, embrace it. Most millennial employees want to care about their work and want to do a good job. Who wouldn’t want that in an employee?
4. Millennials know their way around a smartphone
…and other forms of technology. Whatever your personal view on social media, apps, or any other aspects of this digital age, I think we can all agree that technology is not going anywhere. Most millennials are comfortable exploring new technologies and they are used to fast communication. This is a valuable skillset that they can bring to any business.
5. Millennials embrace flexibility
Millennial employees are notorious for desiring flexible schedules and the freedom to work from home. “Millennials…,” states Michael A. Olguin, “…by nature don’t really like rules.” At first glance this could seem like a negative employee quality, but an ability to embrace flexibility can be really crucial. No workplace is stagnant and having employees that are ready for change and willing to jump on new opportunities puts you at a great advantage.
6. Millennials know all about group projects
From a young age millennials have been doing group projects at school. They’ve been to assemblies about teamwork, and they have probably even had full days devoted to cooperative games. People of the millennial generation know how to work with others and are comfortable doing so. Two minds are better than one…team work makes the dream work, right? Utilize these skills in your millennial employee to help you company achieve big accomplishments.
So, say what you want about millennials, ‘or kids these days’–this generation has a lot going for it. And, it can have a lot going for your business, too.
It’s important to remember that not everyone that falls within that millennial gap will have each one of the above characteristics. No matter what generation one is born into, we are all individual people with our own likes, dislikes, talents, and things we need to work on. Keep that in mind with every single one of your employees.
Looking for more advice for your business? Contact us at Lumen Advisory and Finance!