Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Why I Have Faith in the "Millennial" Generation

When You Hear the word "Millennials", 
what comes to mind?

Do You think “disloyal”, “lazy”, and, most of all “entitled”? Do You believe they are hard to manage?  That they expect the best perks ~ flexible work schedules, the ability to telecommute ~ while also needing constant praise? 

I believe this negative view is off the mark, and  I have faith that they are much, much more.

Millennials are innovative, confident, and at ease with change.

Innovation comes from being more free thinking and willing to try new things. They are not hampered by what has come before. Being new to the workplace means they bring a fresh perspective, not an “entitled” one.

Yes, they want things. They want the benefits that allow them to have a personal, as well as a professional, life. Far from being unreasonable, I see this as a move in the right direction.

Millennials are also driven and want to make an impact wherever they go. Their confidence pushes them to voice their opinions and promote new approaches to things. And those that are willing to listen, will also find themselves thinking beyond the status quo.

I welcome their perspective. Without new voices in the mix, we risk becoming stagnant and out dated. Neither is ever a good thing for any company.

The same can be said for their “tech” skills. More than any other, this generation grew up with technology. From early ages they have used computers, tablets, smart phones ~ you name it.

Being this relaxed frees them from the fear or reticence some older workers deal with when using technology in the workplace. They are more at ease with creating video promotions, using social media, and building company websites.

The biggest criticism of the Millennial generation is that they are disloyal. Many believe they move from job to job without appreciation for the companies that hire them.

This is unfounded. What I see perceived as disloyalty is simply the unwillingness to settle. Instead, of remaining in a company that no longer fits their needs, they are willing to move on and seek employment where they see real growth potential.

I also think much of the fault for this "disloyalty"lies in the company’s corner. 

Millennials have grown up seeing adults around them lose jobs in companies where they have worked for many years. These companies were willing to let go of long-term employees just to make new hires at lesser salaries.

Loyalty should go both ways, and the Millennials are going in with their eyes wide open. This is not disloyal.

Instead of these qualities 
dividing Millennials from their co-workers, they should be embraced.  

Each generation of employees within a company can learn from the other. This results in the best of both worlds ~ a marriage between the tried and true and the up and coming.  

I argue that this is what each new generation through the history of time brings to the table!

They bring change that often times creates fear and distrust in the preceding generation. Thoughts that “this younger generation is going to be the ruin of our country” are not unique to the Millennials. It has been said time and time again as a new generation enters the workforce.

I chose to believe that these new generations are simply filled with fresh perspectives and ideas on how and why they work.  

This should not be met with distrust. We need to see it for what it is ~ a way to stimulate the thinking and the methods that will propel us all into the future.

On a personal note, I find Millennials to be increasingly accepting of others. I think this has much to do with them having grown up in a time where stereotypes are continually being shattered. There is no “norm”. This bodes well for cooperative relationships both in and out of the workplace.

And this is as it should be.

I leave you with these wise words from Benjamin Franklin;

Authored by  

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