Who are the millennials — and how can they take your company to the next level?

January 1, 2018 | Leadership, Talent Management

Over the past few years, both national and smaller publications have churned out piece after piece holding Millennials responsible for single-handedly shaping (or ruining) the economy. While some of it is positive, most of the media coverage makes Millennials look entitled and lazy.

You’ve probably read some of these very same articles on Millennials and the impact they’re having in today’s workplace. Most of these articles either vilify or glorify this group — you probably have your own opinions of these young professionals, yourself! But let’s get past the stereotypes and knee-jerk judgments and get to the bottom of this important workforce demographic. In truth, Millennials are just like any other generation—they’re shaped by the culture of the time and the experiences and events which have surrounded them as they’ve grown up and entered the work force.

Who Are Millennials?

Millennials is the name given to people born between 1980 and 2000, give or take a year or two. This group, also known as Generation-Y, has been the subject of much ire. They’ve been accused of “killing” everything from the diamond industry to chain restaurants to cereal and of spending too much money on luxuries like avocado toast. However, Millennials may be the most educated and open-minded generation yet—and that makes for an ideal workforce.

Why Do You Want to Hire Millennials?

Most Millennials grew up in a diverse environment and are more accepting of diversity than previous generations—and it’s been shown that more diverse companies tend to be more successful. Millennials are also used to working in teams and want to make friends with their co-workers, so they work well with others. And, despite all the talk going around about how Millennials want everything for nothing, most of them are hard workers, who are driven and ready to prove themselves.

How to Attract—and Retain—Millennial Employees

1. Be Ethical:

Millennials really care about their values. They want to work for an ethical organization, so the best way to attract them is to be ethical—something you should be doing anyway. Make sure your company is taking its social and environmental responsibility seriously. And be upfront and transparent. Not only is it the right thing to do, but people will want to both work for you and support your business.

2. Keep Them Involved:

Many Millennials want to feel that what they do matters. They want to feel that they’re making a difference—and that they are a vital part of the organization. Provide regular feedback and consider introducing a Mentorship program if you don’t already have one. You can also keep Millennials engaged by giving them the responsibility many of them crave. They want structure and leadership from their older and more experienced team members. And they don’t like to get bored, so don’t be afraid to send a challenge their way.

3. Give Them Work/Life Balance:

Millennials desire a more forgiving work/life balance than previous generations. While they’re motivated and hard-working, they also want to live their lives. Unlike Baby Boomers, they’re unwilling to delay happiness and fulfillment for their careers. Millennials participate in more recreational and social activities than past generations. Their lives are full of social obligations, sporting events, hobbies and more. They will go above and beyond while they’re on the clock, but expect for their time off to be just that—time off.

Millennials may be the most mocked generation yet but they have a lot to offer. And whether you’re happy with them or not, you better get on board. It’s predicted that by 2025, three quarters of workers around the world will be Millennials.