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Millennials: Are they the Young and the Restless?

Recently, there has been a large amount of talk about the term “Millennials”. Who are they, why are they attracting a lot discussion and analysis? We are going to find out!

Millennials are people that are between the ages of 18-34. Statistics have shown that they will soon overshadow the generation Xers and the Baby Boomers, soon to be the largest group to make up the workforce. This still doesn’t explain the talk. They have been labelled to be “High Maintenance” and “Lazy and soft”. These are stereotypes and shouldn’t be held against them as each individual is different.

“They will be the most-high maintenance workforce in the history of the world, but they may also be the most-high performing.” - Bruce Tulga –It’s ok to Manage your Boss .

I think Bruce makes a good point; Millennials have the capability to achieve and have the knowledge and expertise to utilize multiple channels effectively for global and local exposure. The world is becoming vastly globalized, it has become a necessity to interact and communicate with people from a different time-zone through many different ways.

Strengths of Millennials that you should consider addressing when placing in positions:

  • Tech-savvy generation

  • Tend to adapt well with changing environments

  • They are full of energy and enthusiastic doing tasks they love

  • They work the best when given a clear goal

Some examples of Companies working around Millennials:

Boston Consulting Group has revamped their recruitment and training schemes to address the needs and expectations of Millennials. They found Millennials trusted and valued information from contemporaries more than anyone else, it may be wise to incorporate peer relationships into recruiting strategy and to give ongoing alumni support to former employees.

FORTUNE found that companies that constantly engaged and talked to Millennials are able to recognize their talents and give them a significant role where they can make a difference. Providing them with a chance to be recognized and open to promotional opportunities can further boost their work enthusiasm.

What these companies have in common is they realize Millennials are blessings in disguise, they believe they’ll grow to be something more than what people say about them.

So…How do we integrate Millennials into the workplace?

As stated above, they like to be motivated and be given a clear goal to grasp. Give them something to work towards; a project, a goal or a promotional opportunity. Research has shown that 30% of millennials valued meaningful work, 28% valued high pay, 25% valued sense of accomplishment. Versus 12% of managers valuing meaningful work, 50% wanting high pay and 12% a sense of accomplishment.

The company or the manager directing the team should be transparent in regards to tasks and communication as Millennials value trust very much and not be looked down upon.

Micro-management and overly controlling can result in counter-productivity; they work better when they feel ownership towards their own work/job

Most importantly, to give Millennials coaching at work; this does not mean constant pestering of their work. It is more about giving them the option to have someone to talk to or ask questions if ever the need arises.

Do they really want to be treated as the “different” and “pampered” generation?

I say no. Though they may have grown up to become accustomed to the digital world where face-to-face interactions are infrequent and showered with parental attention; I believe they want to be treated the same as any employee. They desire Schedule Control, meaningful work relationships, choice of projects, chance to show their worth and learning opportunities. It’ll help you and your company to understand and account for their different attitudes and work ethics. Remember stereotyping will only cause your company to miss out on the best of both worlds.


Alex Charfen – Millennials don’t want to work…and your company needs that.

Brack, J. & Kelly, K. (2012) Maximizing Millennials in the Workplace, Kenan-Flagler Business School, p1-15

Katherine Reynolds Lewis – Everything you need to know about your Millennial co-workers.

Vivian Giang – Here are the Strengths and Weaknesses of Millennials, Gen and Boomers.

Bruce Tulgan – It’s ok to Manage your Boss. Quote: [“They will be the most high maintenance workforce in the history of the world, but they may also be the most high performing,”]

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