That dreaded word “Millennials”, also known as Generation Y, are the demographic cohort following Generation X and previous to Generation Z. The alphabet is out of letters after that so who knows what’s coming next!?
Millennials were born between 1981-1996, now aged from 22 to 37 years old.
They have been labelled as self-entitled, lazy, narcissistic, money hungry and addicted to social media. Do you agree?
Having been succumbed by the advancements in technology which has led to both knowable positive outcomes along with undeniable negatives, by 2020 it is said that millennials will make up 40 percent of the work force.
As a result, there will be a greater need for flexible working hours, the option to work remotely, speedy technology and an open company culture.
Employers are looking for stable long term employees, yet 49% of Millennials quit their job within two years. The top reasons to leave their current job include unhappiness with compensation, lack of career advancement, and lack of professional development opportunities.
Seeking to understand millennials appears to be the greatest challenge, once employers understand this, they will uncover and capitalise on what they have to offer as a generation.
· Millennials need to feel valued. By creating a constructive, collaborative environment that employees can contribute meaningfully to and know that they are a valued member of the team.
· As children millennials were made to feel special and under the illusion that they could have anything they wanted in life. For example, if there was a running race and the winner got a medal. Those who came last also got “participation” medals, this devalues the prize for the winner and creates embarrassment for those who came last and still received medals. Once they reached the workplace they found out that only hard work is rewarded, so their whole world is turned upside down. This has led to millennials having lower self-esteem than previous generations.
· Millennials have high engagement rates with social media. As a result, the chemical dopamine that is released when using social media provides them with instant gratification and they have been using it to seek other people’s approvals throughout their earlier years. Now millennials are faced with the problem of not knowing how to form deep meaningful relationships with others in real life and struggle with the coping mechanisms to deal with stress.
· The instant gratification that they are used to makes them want to make an impact immediately when they start their job, which explains why they would leave a job within 2 years.
· Finally the environment that corporate firms provide is not always suited to the millennials stereotype of self-entitled, lazy, narcissistic, and addicted to social media. Millennials assume that they themselves are the problem, not the environment.
You could say that the generation of millennials are being overgeneralised, yet the question on how to manage them is constantly recurring.
To manage millennials we need to become flexible, open to ideas, change and encourage the development of this generation in the workplace.
The most important thing that businesses need to realise and accept, is the fact that millennials are today’s main consumer of digital content. For future success, you need to include this up-and-coming generation to reach out to other millennials!