Who’s Teaching Who?- Millennials in the Workplace
s the Millennial generation begins entering the workforce, there are several stereotypes that have been associated with their generation including entitled, coddled, and lazy. However, do these stereotypes accurately portray the mindset of the average Millennial as they begin seeking employment?
The above infographic illustrates how Millennials view themselves in the workplace with both positive and not-so-positive viewpoints about the on-the-go Millennial generation. The juxtaposition between the two perspectives illustrates the varying differences between Millennials and the professionals who hire them, with regard to workplace values and skill sets.
Although the Millennial generation, born between the early 80s and the early 2000s, doesn’t always have the best reputation, it is clear from the illustration the Millennial generation is undoubtedly recognized for their technological knowledge. As the first generation of digital natives, there are clear and key differences between Millennials and other generations when new advancements in technology are introduced in the workplace. There is almost no learning curve for Millennials adopting the latest technology, which can be a huge advantage for employers.
However, the use of technology in the workplace has created a culture shift with respect to in-person work attendance. Many Millennials translate virtual connectivity to mean they do not have to come, physically, to their offices. In fact, an estimated three million Americans work from home every year and that number is expected to increase by 63% over the next five years. Some fear the shift towards working from home will weaken interpersonal relationships between not only co-workers, but also employers, clients and other workplace relationships.
According to MTV’s study, 71% of Millennials think they are “too talented to punch a clock or sit in a cubicle,” and they also believe that experience isn’t a prerequisite to bright ideas. This statement may come across as entitled considering the minimal work experience most Millennials have when entering the workforce, however it may also be true Millennial workers want to hit the ground running on a project-basis, rather than on a time-basis resulting in positive impacts for their company’s bottom line.
Where do other generations come into play as Millennials slowly begin to integrate into the workforce? Millennial employees expect greater accessibility to the leadership in their offices and are looking for more mentorship rather than just direction. Research shows that the number one reason Millennials are likely to leave their current job is because of their boss. Creating an environment where Millennial employees feel supported and valued by the leadership may lead to increased productivity and valuable relationships. According to research, Millennials would also like frequent check-ins and constructive criticism.
If you are a Millennial reading this: Remember to take some time to get to know the older, more knowledgeable employees in your organization. Remember to respect the experience level of those around you and the potential knowledge base they may possess. Ask for informational interviews, come prepared with important questions, and always put your best foot forward as a global, tech-savvy person in the workforce. And remember, it is up to each and every one of you to get up, get moving and get talking – we can’t let ourselves become the tech-savvy, yet not at all people-savvy person we are feared to be.