Job hoppers. Lazy. Entitled. Narcissistic. Addicted to technology. These are all common perceptions people have of Millennials. As a Millennial, rather than take this stone throwing personally, I want to provide a different lens for you to view us through.
And if that isn’t enough to keep you reading, did you know that Millennials are now the largest share of the American workforce? With that said, attracting and retaining this group of talent is becoming a burning issue for leaders. Here are a few things to keep in mind when recruiting us:
- Millennials CAN be loyal, hard-working team members. To gain our trust, loyalty and productivity, we need a workplace environment that is different from previous generations. While Baby Boomers or Gen Xers have conformed much more quickly to the traditional workplace, Millennials want employers to find a middle ground.
- Talk to me about how we can make a difference, not just how to drive your bottom line. Money alone will no longer retain us. We want to have a purpose and make an impact from the very beginning. We are happy to answer phones and fetch coffee – as long as it means we are contributing to the larger efforts.
- We champion diversity. Millennials are the most racially diverse generation, with 44.2% representing a minority or ethnic group. We are comfortable working across borders and with all different types of people. This blending of different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives within a team are natural drivers of collaboration and creativity.
- We naturally challenge the status quo. Please do not mistake this for disrespect. It is not that we lack respect for authority, it is that we have a desire to play an active part in change. So even with little experience, we are comfortable sharing our opinions on what we believe is not working or could be improved upon. Layer us into a cross-generation team and the result will be innovation.
- We are willing to turn down higher-paying jobs to stay with a company and leader we believe in. Yes, we are buried in student debt and held prisoner to our strange need for avocado toast and $5 lattes, but a company that offers a big paycheck is not enough to keep us happy. We need to be around people who are on fire for what they are doing, and a leader who pushes us to be better and think differently. Working in an environment with a purposeful culture will have a larger impact than earning $100K a year at a job we think is boring.
- Work life balance is important to us. We are not necessarily buying into the idea that productivity can only occur behind a desk. We want to spend time with our family and children so that we come into the office recharged, with fresh ideas. Without this, you will have a higher chance of burnout.
- We are not (all) lazy. This perception may be a reflection of the fact we grew up with Google and GPS enabled smartphones at our fingertips, and so were able to find answers with just a few clicks. This is not laziness but rather being efficient in how we spend our time. The time we save can now be spent on other, more productive tasks.
And so, when you throw around the list of names for those in my generation, I would encourage you to add passionate, collaborator, efficient and focused. The bottom line is that we bring a tremendous amount to the table and are hungry to help drive innovation. Spend a little time with us over some avocado toast, getting to know us and letting us get to know you. We have a lot to learn from each other.
By Jennifer Crabtree
Manager, Marketing and Consumerism
Jupiter Medical Center