By 2025, the millennial generation will make up 75% of the workforce. And despite what much of the world thinks, these Gen-Yers are serious about their futures.
Publications such as the New York Times and TIME have referred to this group as “incredibly self-oriented, lazy and unproductive”, labeling them as “stunted, shallow narcissists”. While this seems to be an overwhelmingly accepted view of millennials, the statistics suggest something entirely different:
- 84% of millennials say that helping to make a positive difference in the world is more important than professional recognition.
- 60% of millennials give to charitable causes annually.
- 74% of non-millennials agree that millennials offer different skills and work styles that add value to the workplace.
Overcoming Preconceived Notions About Millennials
It seems that millennial prejudices stem from this generation’s near-constant connection to technology since day one. Remember, these people were born at a time when the Internet was creeping into homes across the country. They had smartphones before most baby boomers. Facebook has connected them to a social network spanning every continent. And they’ve developed a keen ability to know which combination of words is going to produce the exact Google results they seek.
This generation has been learning and adapting to the ever-changing world of technology since before they could walk. And while many seem to think that this has left them stunted, it has actually curated the very skills that businesses require to grow and survive in a tech-driven world. Millennials’ knowledge of abundant technological platforms and their natural ability to navigate all things digital give them a huge leg up in today’s workforce.
This is a generation that actively seeks to break barriers and forge new paths. They are less driven by success and more motivated by change and innovation. Their ultimate ambition lies in making a difference and creating a future for themselves and the generations to follow.
And regardless of whether you agree with their stance on the traditional corporate culture, they are the new face of the workforce. This means that you’ve got to make a decision: Continue to dismiss millennials OR embrace them for their skills and talents, which have the potential to take your business into the next wave of the future.
Using Millennials’ Talents To Your Advantage
Whether or not they know it yet, many CEOs and business owners today need millennial employees. Older generations are less knowledgeable about the highly digital landscape that surrounds them, and mastering new technology is one of the millennials’ strongest skills. Sooner or later, companies are going to rely on the fresh, young insight of innovative millennials to break higher ground.
A recent article in The Wall Street Journal highlighted a growing trend that the corporate world seems to be embracing: reverse mentoring. In this new, growing effort, the typical mentor/mentee roles are swapped. Young millennials use their expertise in the digital world to help their predecessors and current business leaders raise their “digital IQ” and navigate new technology. At the same time, higher-level managers and executives have an opportunity to share their knowledge and experience with these young professionals to mold them into confident members of the workforce. This collaborative effort creates a mutually beneficial learning environment that may not have existed in the traditional business space, boosting the overall skills, knowledge and communication that are needed to succeed in business today.
More and more, the business world is changing its thinking when it comes to the value placed on this new generation of potential employees. Setting aside the loudly voiced, preconceived notions of millennials in the workforce to embrace their unique skill sets is going to have a huge impact on your business. After all, what company isn’t looking to survive and thrive in today’s digital landscape? The tech-savvy innovator who could catapult you into this digital stage of business evolution might be sitting in your reception area, resume in hand … or ready for you to view on their tablet.
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