We have heard all the stereotypes…Millennials are an entitled, selfish generation who don’t understand loyalty or commitment and who don’t respect authority. The disconnect has caused many a recruiter headaches and frustrated upper management. But it’s a miscommunication worth fixing considering that Millennials are 35% of the working population. By 2020, they will make up almost half of the workforce. If Baby Boomers want to retire, they need to embrace these young professionals in order to pass the baton effectively.
- Myth #1: Millennials feel entitled. While its true Millennials don’t feel the need to start at the bottom to work their way up to the top, the fact that they want to make a difference and have energy and passion to burn should be embraced. They don’t equivocate climbing the corporate ladder with professional growth. Show them that you place a premium on career development, mentor them and match their passion for what you do and you will suddenly find the perfect employee.
- Myth #2: Millennials lack loyalty. Considering that this generation is the most diverse and highly educated population in the world, they know they have something to offer corporate America. What they are looking for in return is a way to develop their skill set. If they don’t feel that an employer is maximizing their skills or allowing them to learn something new, it can drive them to look for other opportunities. Offering training programs and team building activities shows you are invested in them for the long run and gives them a reason to buy in.
- Myth #3: Millennials are Anti-Authority. This generation definitely has a “no fear” factor…they were raised to believe they could conquer the world and that their opinion counts so its no surprise that they feel everyone is their peer. Its not that they don’t have respect for you, but that they identify more with an individual’s contributions than with titles every time. That kind of courage in the workplace can produce tomorrow’s leaders and should not be dissuaded. Erase the age factor from the equation and see good things happen for your company.
All in all, Millennials have great expectations for themselves to make a difference in this world – not just in your company. But that doesn’t mean your goals aren’t the same. Understanding their need to contribute and produce results will help you grasp what skills they have to offer and guide them to success. And if you want to retire some day with the world in good hands, remember that their success is your success!
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