There are so many stereotypes for millennials, it’s hard to shake them (mostly because at least one of them is true for each of us). But don’t diminish the work we have done and will do based on them. Those exact stereotypes are what drive us to be innovators, disruptors, and your next amazing employees.
The difference between the millennials entering the workforce now and previous generations are the expectations on which they were raised. Millennials were raised to believe they will grow up to make a difference in the world. Previous generations were taught that hard work will allow them a stable climb up the corporate ladder. Evidence? Take a look at this open letter to management and the following statistic (2020 is only ~ four years away, BTW):
You hired us thinking this one might be different; this one might be in it for the long haul. We’re six months in, giving everything we have, then suddenly, we drop a bomb on you. We’re quitting.
Millennials are 35% of the workforce. By 2020 they’ll be 46% of the working population.
Now is the time to figure out the best methods for working well together. With seasoned management’s experience and eager millennial’s outlook, the future can be limitless.
Yes, a millennial loves perks. Ping pong in the office, awesome. Snack time, even better. But the new espresso machine, taco Tuesdays, and monthly happy-hours are not going to keep us here if there are no opportunities to grow our careers.
Don’t treat us as if we are spoiled, entitled employees. Millennials want to be treated a valued part of the team. We need to know the groundwork we are laying is for something more than a paycheck.
IBM recently released a report entitled "Myths, exaggerations and uncomfortable truths: The real story behind millennials in the workplace," which included the following:
“…despite many myths, millennials have similar desires to previous generations including job security and stability. They aren’t more likely than other generations to jump-ship when they first hear of an opportunity at a friend’s new start-up; But your company’s junior employees do value collaboration and are the most connected generation.”
So millennials will choose your company for more than the perks. They’ll know the work you do and they want to contribute to it. Implement mentoring programs and management training to embrace their creativity, and be their inspiration instead of lessening it.
In the end, a career means more than just a stable 40-hour work week paycheck for the next 30 years. Millennials want to be the next great innovators. By creating a company culture that will cultivate professional development and continued learning, companies will be able to hire and retain top-tier graduates—and might even be able to keep them around long enough to innovate your company’s next big [insert huge money-making product here].