Oh millennials. The generation is an enigma to many, including (or maybe especially to) those in the workforce. Although this isn’t all that unique to this generation, since older generations are always confused by the ones after them. This generation has stigmas attached to it that can be concerning but easily debunked if you take the time to understand the generation better. IBM conducted a global study that aimed to separate fact from fiction so that we can learn what millennials are really all about. Here are five myths busted about millennials.
- They Have Impractical Career Goals – Look, millennials are no different than anyone else in the workplace. Their biggest needs are financial and job security. Same with every generation. They should not be faulted for having their goals set high, as it allows them to strive for something bigger than them and to overachieve. There is no need for them to sell themselves short when beginning their careers.
- They Need Constant Praise- People think that because they grew up in generation where they were rewarded with participation trophies that this relates to them needing constant praise and validation in their careers. This cliché is misrepresented quite often and is not all that applicable. Millennials are actually quite consistent with the Boomer generation in that what they want most is simply a boss that they feel they can communicate openly and honestly with. They think it is far less important to have a boss who recognizes their accomplishments.
- They Have an Addiction to Technology- It is believed that they cannot put down their devices which causes their work lives to be interfered with their personal lives. However, this is not true (for the most part) since they grew up with technology, and they’ve grown extremely accustomed to using it in both their personal lives and in their education and work lives. In fact, it’s the other generations that struggle with this more because they are not as accustomed to using technology in both facets of their lives.
- They are Afraid of Independent Decisions- In today’s professional world, you are taught to work together as a team to make the best possible decision. Millennials were taught this early in their education with constant focus on group work, this is not a bad thing to be able to bring to the table. In fact, Gen X believes in soliciting lots of opinions even more than millennials. When it comes down to it, if a decision NEEDS to be made by an individual they are not as timid as one might think.
- They are More Likely to Leave if Their Passions Aren’t Fulfilled- Millennials, just like the other generations change jobs for the same reasons and frequency. The biggest factors are money and creativity in the workspace. It is actually found that when they find the right company, millennials want to stick around. 80% in the study said they believe they'll work for four or fewer companies in their lifetime. They value companies that listen, help them develop their talents, and offer frequent raises.
In part II and III of this series, we will talk about the benefits of hiring millennials and what recruiting efforts can engage them.