I recently had a client tell me about a mother who called her after her son turned in his job application. She begged and pleaded that he get the job. Many employers have stories like this. I personally had one girl interview with me for an internship and she stopped in mid-conversation to answer her boyfriend’s text.
What’s a Millennial?
You hear about Generation Y everyday— defined as those born between 1982 and 1999 — also known as millennials. The media has given them creative nicknames: boomerang kids, who always wind up back home; teacup kids, for their fragile egos; trophy kids — because there are no losers; the Peter Pan generation, who’ll never grow up.
Millennials tend to be a complex bunch in the workplace. They’re self-assured and collaborative, want flexible work schedules and constant feedback from upper management. In general, they are very social and have strong opinions and beliefs. In addition, they are driven by a sense of community both at work and possess a deep concern about global issues.
This isn’t such a bad thing, though.
Communication is key
It’s crucial to clearly communicate how sharing knowledge in the workplace aligns with the goals of millennial employees. Learning from one another opens new opportunities for personal growth, innovative fresh perspectives and success. Communities are important in the workplace. It’s the perfect place for employees to communicate with others, share ideas, offer feedback, and collaborate.
Making millennial employees an integral part of your company by giving them a voice and the reassurance that the work that they do matters will only help them thrive; knowing they have leadership opportunities within your organization and a platform for sharing their knowledge will only encourage their drive and passion to win. Let them develop their own initiatives, and stretch their creativity, develop side projects and goals. This will encourage your millennials to be more engaged, more satisfied — and more receptive to workplace benefits.
So we could continue to huff and puff and roll our eyes at the millennials with the mindset of them being entitled, spoiled and ignorant brats. We could hope they just learn the hard way and humbled by ‘real life’ and learn to accept that this is how the world of business turns. Or, we can adapt. Today’s younger employees aren’t going anywhere. If you can manage to tap into the massive millennial talent market, your organization will have a significant competitive advantage. If you’re willing to be flexible and supportive, you’ll be quite pleased at what your millennial workers will achieve.
Sandra Guadarrama- Baumunk, Director of Client Services at knoodle.