The Truth About Millennials
by Tim Walker
Go ahead. Just google "Millennials in the Workforce." Be prepared to be inundated with opinions. From doomsday predictions to helpful "how to deal with millennials" articles, you'll quickly find yourself waist deep in viewpoints. Most of which are not flattering (take this one or this one, for example). There are a lot of things you've probably heard about millennials. Entitled. Narcissistic. Disloyal. Perhaps all of these things are true. Perhaps millennials are the WORST GENERATION EVER. They may be less productive, more difficult to manage and more likely to hop jobs.
Here's the truth. Unless you're planning to clone or cryogenically freeze your entire baby boomer and Gen X workforce so they can work for you forever, you're going to have to hire millennials. In fact, millennials (born between 1981 and 1997), are already the largest generation in the workforce. By 2025, millennials are expected to make up a majority of employees in the United States. So, if you want your business (and the economy as a whole) to continue to grow, millennials are going to be a pretty important part!
Many of the companies that land on those "Best Places to Work" lists have embraced millennials. In fact, places like Build a Bear Workshop and Etsy have workplaces that are make up of 75% millennial employees. When it comes to hiring millennials (which, let's face it...you're going to have to do!) this means catering your office to meet their needs. That could mean more flexible time scheduling or vacation options. It could mean open work spaces and meeting areas that foster collaboration. The more you can do now to attract millennials, the better you're going to be as they continue to become more dominant in the workforce. Getting ahead of the curve now will put you in a great place as baby boomers continue to leave the work force.
Finally, I'll leave you with something comforting. Sure, millennials may get a bad rap as entitled or difficult to manage, but at the end of the day, most want the same thing as their older coworkers. According to a survey from the IBM Institute for Business Value, 25% of millennials want to make a positive impact on their workplace. That's actually a higher share than Gen X (21%) and Baby Boomers (23%). In fact, the survey shows that millennials have many of the same career goals as their counterparts. So, rest assured, your company is in good hands!