What is All the Noise About Millennials?

Why Millennials in the Workplace Are Getting all the Attention
Over the past 15 years, Boomers began exiting the workplace in a slow dribble. But, that’s about to change. According to a recent survey done by Deloitte, “Millennials, who are already emerging as leaders in technology and other industries and will comprise 75 percent of the global workforce by 2025, want to work for organizations that foster innovative thinking, develop their skills, and make a positive contribution to society.”
In 2016, millennials capture the largest share of the workforce and now exceed the number of working baby boomers. Millennials, those born between 1980 and 2000, currently number 75.4 million, surpassing the 74.9 million baby boomers who will be retiring in full force by 2035 when the oldest boomer hits 70.  So, is that what all the noise is about? Is that why Millennials capture more than their fair share of space in every workplace article written?……Not exactly.
8 Things Everyone “is Saying” About Millennials:

  1. Millennials in the workplace are the most educated employees in history. They entered college with the highest SAT scores and left college with even better GPAs.
  2. They are also the most technically savvy generation, defining the digital age as they take their place in the bullpens and glass offices of today’s workforce.
  3. Millennials are the most connected of any generation, replacing face to face conversations with social media Tweets, IMs, texts, VOIP tools like Skype and Internet collaboration tools like WebEx.
  4. They want to be recognized for accomplishments, even those ever so small, like showing up for work. In fact, the idea of frequent accolades replacing year-end reviews is getting as much attention as the millennials themselves.
  5. Work-Life balance is very important to millennials who were, in many cases, raised as latchkey kids by their baby-boomer parents. The idea of working long hours and foregoing vacations is unacceptable to millennials. They seek out employers who provide a family-friendly culture by offering generous paid time off.
  6. Millennials also choose companies that have a social conscience and run their companies with high ethical standards.
  7. They value education and feel it is the foundation for career growth.  If they aren’t provided access to the latest technology, they may view this as a career set-back. What they can’t learn on their own, they will seek, even if it means changing employers.
  8. Millennials look for a fast-track to promotions and leadership opportunities. They view their education as a license that foregoes the need for experience and business acumen.

Do Millennials Really Change the Workplace Game?

One thing the millennials do own is “everything digital.” They are addicted to their phones, social media, and anything new. Like no other generation, millennials have grown up connected to technology. Their ideas about buying habits, learning platforms, communication devices, and getting and analyzing data is what sets them apart from past generations.  
But in general, millennials are like all other workers. They want to be successful and they want to be recognized for great performance. But, guess what, so do all employees. People of every age are motivated by frequent recognition, kudos, educational achievements, and rewards. When accomplishments are recognized, engagement level soars. So, start recognizing everyone; don’t wait until a new millennial walks in the door.
And, work-life balance is important to all employees. It’s just that millennials aren’t afraid to say so.  Yes, time has shifted workplace culture, but certain values remain the same. Family, friends and interests outside the workplace have always been important. It’s economic trends that have driven workplace norms, not someone’s age or their generational bracket.
As far as workplace etiquette, politeness and respectfulness, there are a few bad apples in every age group. Millennials are young and, with experience can be groomed to lead people and take companies to the next level.  However, with some, the ability for entrepreneurship and leadership early in their careers is inherent. The same traits that make Mark Zuckerberg a prodigy also made Steve Jobs and Bill Gates a phenomenon.  

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