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Contributed by Courtney Lytle

We’ve all heard about them, we all have our belief of who they are, and what they do. But, do we really know what they are capable of? Depending on who you talk to, you may hear them described as; “lazy”, “praise-hungry”, and “job hoppers”. But as the work force continues to grow with “these kids” it’s important to know what they can do for you.  

Here’s 2 facts from the Pew Research Center:

Millennials are individuals that are approximately ages 21-36 in 2018. This range (1982-1997) is surprising to many because it reaches far deeper into individuals born in the 80s than most anticipate.

Millennials make up the largest portion of the current workforce at about 35% (remaining work force: 33% GenX, 25% Boomers, 2% Greatest Generation, 5% Post-Millennials)

Now that we got the facts, let’s address some myths:

1. Millennials Aren’t Lazy: They seek balance

Millennials tend to value things differently than older generations. They do not seek to climb the corporate ladder for the money or recognition, rather they seek work-life balance, relationships, and job security. In short, we “work to live, not live to work”.

What does this means for you, the employer? Less burn out and lower insurance costs. People that maintain a healthy work-life balance are less stressed and generally happier. Less stress means lower chance of cardiovascular health problems, improved mental health, and higher employee engagement. 

2. Millennials aren’t Praise-Hungry: They seek Feedback

Nobody likes getting to a review or meeting just to find out things have not been going as well as others desired. Or better yet, nobody likes putting a ton of time and effort into a project just to find out they did it wrong and have to start over. Millennials like to address these problems before they come up. They want feedback; good, bad or ugly. Sure the good feedback is most desirable, but they just want to make sure they are performing to their employer’s expectations.

What does this mean for you, the employer? Millennials want to improve and are easily coach-able. Don’t get me wrong they are young in their careers, so they may not possess all the skills *yet* to handle all types of feedback correctly, BUT they do want it. Open dialogue and frequent feedback allows for better communication, less confusion, and stronger connection to team and bosses.

3. Millennials aren’t Job hoppers: They are not afraid of change

According to a study done by the Bureau of Labor Statistics the Baby Boomers held “11.9 jobs from ages 18 to 50, with nearly half of these held before 25” this is slightly higher than the trend that millennials are on today. So where did this myth come from? First, people in general change jobs more often today than several generations ago. Reports/Articles tend to focus on the younger generations when discussing these issues. Thus, leading the vast majority to believe it’s isolated to a generation, not society as a whole. Second, Millennials will prioritizes our values over a company. They will not stay in a dead end job that provides them no happiness, direction, or room for growth.

What does that means for you, the employer? If a millennial is making a change they will bring with a whole host of skills they’ve learned along the way. Also, once a millennial feels their values match the company’s they will be more likely to be fully invested in their jobs.

As a whole millennials just want to find a happy balance between life and work. They want to do the best they possibly can at home and at work. They want to do this while feeling like they belong to an organization that values the same things they do. Yes, Millennials will make changes if needed but that’s because they understand you only get one shot at life so you got to try to get the most out of it as possible.  


Additional Sources:

Millennials in the Workplace

Number of Jobs Held, Labor Market Activity, and Earnings Growth Among the Youngest Baby Boomers: Results from a Longitudinal Survey Summary

How Many Times Will People Change Jobs? The Myth of the Endlessly-Job-Hopping Millennial

Millennials Aren't Afraid To Change Jobs, And Here's Why