Millennials get a bad rap in the workplace.
They are accused of being lazy, overly-sensitive, or unable to follow orders. But is it true?
This is a generation that has the potential to make incredible contributions to the workforce. Only, they may work on slightly different terms as compared to the generations that have come before them.
Here’s why – and how – we need to embrace and support millennials expectations in the workplace and get the best out of this highly talented generation.
Problems Millennials Face in the Workplace
The problems that millennials at work face stem from the fact that sometimes the older generation simply misunderstands them – they may not feel connected to their colleagues, and this can affect the way they approach their work. They may also have different habits and be regarded as less disciplined.
In some instances, this may be true. But the truth is that many millennials are looking for freedom and work-life balance -- but this doesn’t mean they’re not interested in the work, they just want an opportunity to do it in their way.
To this end, employers should find every opportunity to be less rigid with antiquated workplace rules and find compromises that allow millennials the freedom and flexibility to really shine.
When it comes to managerial training, millennials want to understand how a business works – but they are also well aware that many old-school business principles don’t apply in the digital era. To this end, managers need to be open to suggestions rather than assuming that millennials don’t know what they’re doing.
Benefits & Perks
Millennials and employers alike should take the opportunity to clarify job and training expectations from the get-go. Employers need to understand that millennials may not expect to stick around for years, and thus they may not be as motivated by employee perks such as retirement benefits or other perks that come with seniority.
They are more likely to be looking for business training opportunities and flexibility, so offering them an opportunity to work from home a couple of days a week, for instance, may be much more enticing than “earning” vacation time.
One of the most beneficial characteristics of millennials in the workplace is that they tend to be not only knowledgeable about technology – because they’re used to learning new things on the fly, they can also adapt well.
When it comes to dealing with millennials in the workplace, managers need to understand that they are intelligent and idealistic, they just do things differently. Millennials also need to communicate their needs in such a way that their older counterparts will understand – that is, approaching problems objectively and asking for what they need in a realistic manner.
Everyone needs to understand that with intelligence, creativity, and sheer determination, running a business and managing a team of diverse individuals is entirely possible.
At WSI, we believe many millennials have it in them to become entrepreneurs and successful business people. Do you believe you do? Take our self-assessment quiz to find out for yourself.