In just 5 years, Millennials will make up approximately 50% of the work force, according to Staffing Talk. What does that mean? What the heck is a millennial? Should businesses be preparing for this? Employers are becoming eager to understand the profile of this new generation. Well Alternative Staffing did a little research and we have some answers for you.
First of all, a millennial is a person that reached young adulthood around the year 2000, born between 1982-1994 (some of them missing the days of teased hair). These are your twenty something’s that are entering the workforce, compared to Gen X (aged 35–49) and Baby Boomers (aged 50–60) that have been at it for years. The White House came up with 15 facts about these newbies, and we chose a few to get you familiar with the generation:
- Millennials are now the largest, most diverse generation in the U.S. population
- Millennials have been shaped by technology
- Millennials value community, family, and creativity in their work
- Millennials are more likely to focus exclusively on studies instead of combining school and work
- As a result of the Affordable Care Act, Millennials are much more likely to have health insurance coverage during their young adult years
- Millennials will contend with the effects of starting their careers during a historic downturn for years to come
- Working Millennials are staying with their early-career employers longer
- Millennial women have more labor market equality than previous generations
- Millennials tend to get married later than previous generations
You may have heard a lot of things about Millennials. That they are lazy, boast too much entitlement, and need constant affirmation. Word on the street is that Millennials in the workplace want to move up the corporate ladder fast and tend to job hop.
This has been the Millennial gossip over the past few years. But according to a study by IBM Institute for Business Value (source: Staffing Talk), Millennials aren’t so scary after all. They debunked these myths…take a look:
Myth 1: Millennials’ career goals and expectations are different from their elders (i.e. unrealistic)
Not so the study says. Millennials want financial security and a diverse workplace just as much as their older colleagues.
Myth 2: Millennials need endless praise and think everyone should get a trophy
Millennials’ idea of a perfect boss isn’t someone who pats them on the back. They’re looking for an ethical and fair boss who shares information. Thirty-five percent of Boomers and Millennials listed this as the top quality they seek in a boss. Last on the priority list for Millennials? A boss who asks for their input.
As it turns out, it’s Gen X employees, not Millennials, who are more likely to think everyone on a successful team should be rewarded.
Myth 3: Millennials are digital addicts with no boundaries between work and play
Millennials are less likely than older generations to use their personal social media accounts for business purposes. Twenty-seven percent of Millennials never do so — compared to only 7% of Boomers.
Millennials enter the workforce with a strong social presence and personal social media strategy. They know what they want to communicate, where they want to share it and how it best suits their audience.
Myth 4: Millennials can’t make a decision without crowd-sourcing
Millennials value others’ input, but are no more likely to seek advice when making work decisions than Gen X. And, even though they think gaining consensus is important, more than 50% of Millennials believe that their leaders are most qualified to make business decisions.
Myth 5: Millennials are more likely to jump ship if a job doesn’t fulfill their passions
Millennials change jobs for the same reasons other generations do, and they are no more likely than older colleagues to leave a job to follow their passion.
In fact, Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers are all two times more likely to leave a job to enter the fast lane – i.e. to make more money and work in a more innovative environment — than any other reason, including saving the world.
So our advice for employers – don’t base your business practice on generational stereotypes. Instead, create a business model that works and put the right people in place to make it happen while providing your employees with the incentives they deserve! Success will follow.
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