Millennials … A Key Workplace Resource

Resource you say! Too often millennials are thought of as a problem in workplaces when in fact they bring a good deal of talent if organizations understand them and help them to become acclimated to the workplace. Starting in the first quarter of 2015, Millennials became the largest group in the workplace and account for 53.5% of the workforce. This is slated to grow to about 70% of the workforce by 2025. There are over 80 million Millennials and they are here to stay. The key is to gain understanding in who they are and what makes them tick. Although it is important not to generalize characteristics to a person just based on their age, there are some differences when it comes to the workplace.

The Millennials can actually be broken up into 2 different groups in the 18-34 age span. The older millennials had already started working when the recession of 2008 hit and this influenced their perception of the workplace. For this reason, older millennials have a different understanding of paying their dues. They have experienced first-hand so are more accepting of having to work up in an organization. Younger millennials tend to see managers as a partner in business and think nothing of knocking on the CEOs door with their thoughts and ideas. In addition, younger millennials have a different perspective of technology as technology had advanced so much more when they entered the workforce than their older peers

Even with these differences in order to engage your millennials, communication needs to be in the forefront. As with any employee, expectations need to be clear and the person needs the tools to do the work. Technology plays a big part in influencing how they receive information, and as many as 56% will not work at an organization that bans the use of technology. They expect communication to be open and honest and may assume something is wrong if they do not receive regular feedback. Parents of this generation were very active in the lives of their children and gave them constant feedback which millennials expect at work. One way to help with this is to assign mentors to millennials which can help to gain the trust of the millennial. These relationships can benefit both parties and help to bridge the gap as not only can the more seasoned professional help the millennial, but the younger employee can help their mentor understand current technology and well as better ways to navigate the web. Finally, and most importantly, millennials want to know that their work is helping to make the world a better place. Helping all employees understand the noble purpose of their work can help to keep them engaged. By educating your staff on ways to bridge the generation gap you can create a win-win solution for your company and employees as well.

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