Three Misconceptions About Millennials in the Workplace
Millennials frequently get a bad rap from their predecessors for being entitled or lazy, among other things; however, more and more companies are beginning to value these hires and seek out services from companies founded by this generation of people. Why is this? As both a millennial and founder of a rising branding company, I have to say our team brings a very unique and different perspective to all aspects of the business and our projects.
Just two years after I graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design with my BFA in graphic design, I took the leap of faith to start Creative Juice – a creative marketing company, specializing in branding, marketing, and web design. Our small but ever-mighty company is composed of progressive and creative millennials, an often underestimated generation. Our success and innovative approaches to business and culture presumably lie within our understanding and inclusion of a changing market – a market that does not misconceive the value of the new workforce: millennials.
As this group of people continues to join the corporate world, or further develop it, the common stereotypes regarding this generation must be realized and acknowledged as false. Find out what ideologies set Creative Juice aside, and learn the three misconceptions about millennials that may be holding your business back.
Millennials Are Desperate for Work
While the unemployment rate is remaining stagnant and the cost of living continues to grow, millennials are finding themselves in unconventional living situations and taking more jobs outside of their field of choice. What does this mean in an economy that will be a mostly millennial workforce in the next 10 years? Millennials aren’t so much desperate for work, they want to enjoy what they are doing and stray away from the traditional route many have taken following college. More and more people from this generation are deciding to take a pay cut for the right position and are being more flexible or fluid when it comes to titles and job duties. Simply put – millennials are taking their time to find the perfect career.
Millennials Don’t Value Tradition
Certain stock images may come to mind when we think of the traditional white-collar job – but millennials don’t always fit into this cookie-cutter mold. It goes without saying that equality in the workplace is essential, but inclusivity is a trait often overlooked by many companies. No generation, thus far, has been more exposed to the deconstruction of marginalization than millennials. A diverse and inviting work environment speaks to potential applicants from this generation, and to the evolving practices and ethics of today’s society.
While some standard policies exist for very important reasons, such as safety, others may resemble a bygone time. Millennials are attracted to updated policies that reflect an interest in their well being, and business owners must ask themselves if their policies are current with trends. For instance, many companies now incorporate game rooms for breaks, casual and themed clothing days, or discussion over wine and beer so that their staff can relax and enjoy working. Happy employees are much more likely to invest themselves in their work and the reputation of the company
Millennials Don’t Work Hard and Are Entitled
The biggest misconception among employers is that millennials expect everything to be handed to them and that they aren’t willing to work hard. This is quite the contrary. Millennials’ exposure to the internet and all of the latest technological tools help them adapt faster, multitask better, and thrive on learning. Their ability to do these things does not necessarily mean they want to supersede traditional methods of “climbing the ladder” or getting solutions; it just means millennials are well-equipped and seize the chance when new opportunities or knowledge arise. If there is a faster way to achieve results, without diminishing quality – why not? For example, if new software or applications are available to make a process easier, take advantage of it!
Millennials also understand the importance of work-life balance, a concept that only recently became important in America. It can be argued whether this is because millennials are products of their upbringings, or America at large is changing its structure in work culture. Either way, when employees are granted leisure or family time (like paid maternity leave), they remain healthier and happier – and therefore more productive. Employees are much more likely to stay with a company that values their personal life, too.
Forget the Stereotypes!
Young entrepreneurs, like my fellow “juicers” appreciate streamlined approaches to everything they do in and out of the office. Unlike Creative Juice, which is mostly comprised of employees within the millennial age bracket, other business owners may need to take a step back and reevaluate their work culture. Millennials are not only familiar with the latest technology and trends, but they also work hard and invest themselves in the right company. Providing a work environment wherein employees can thrive, while respecting their personal lives, gives businesses and their hires a win-win situation.