Given that Millennials are on their way to become the vastest and most diverse generation of the American job market, it’s paramount that executives try to understand this generation and learn about their point of view on work. Here are top 7 reasons why Millennials seems lazy when viewed from the perspective of workers and managers born before the 1980s.
1. Millennials have a completely different view on the work-life balance
It’s clear that Millennials developed a completely new way of looking at life and work. They value time spent with their friends and family, as well as simple pleasures and serious hobbies. They work to live, not live to work.
This where the idea of lifestyle business originates from – Millennials are a generation focused on combining their passion with a career. They’re more than happy to work very long hours on projects they feel passionate about, but aren’t likely to do the same for an employer who simply wants to reach a given profit benchmark.
The idea that life and work shouldn’t be disconnected from each other inspired many young entrepreneurs to set up their own businesses which capitalize on their passions. Just consider all those famous bloggers or vloggers – sharing their passion brings them significant profit and makes them part of many industries, from automotive to fashion. Next time you’d like to advise a Millennial to finally get a real job, think about the current economy and its failure to deliver its promise to many young graduates.
2. They value individuality
Often considered the entitled generation, Millennials definitely like their individuality to be recognized by employers. Most of them choose careers not to pay the bills, but to do something meaningful in life – they want a career with a purpose. A recent survey by Deloitte showed that out of every 10 Millennial employees, six would cite the sense of purpose as the main reason for choosing their employer.
What they essentially seek is empowerment. If you’d like to attract and keep young workers, your organization should empower them and explain why they should care about the company’s goals. It’s important to stress how every single team member contributes to the success of the company. Praising individual accomplishments rather than those of the team, executives will appeal to that individual sense of purpose most Millennials entertain.
3. They find traditional workplace rules inefficient
When it comes to working environments, Millennials often find it hard to conform to office rules – not because they’re entitled or rebellious, but because they genuinely don’t see the point. Why attend meetings just for the sake of meetings? Why employees who don’t represent the company to the outside should follow a strict dress code?
Considering the current workforce trends, with remote work and office flexibility becoming more commonplace, such rules are clearly outdated. Millennials will detest working for a company where certain things are done because they’ve always been done that way.
It’s natural that executives find this attitude unwelcome – especially if they’re comfortable with maintaining status quo. Millennials often look for shortcuts and tinker with existing solutions to improve their productivity – they want to get things done in the most efficient and least time-consuming way possible. Next time you see such an employee and think they’re just being lazy, take a close look at their productivity time – you might find out that they manage to do much more than your other employees.
4. They’re used to schedule flexibility and completing tasks on the go
Millennials are used to getting things done on the go and it’s way more difficult to keep them chained to their desks during traditional office hours. They have no problem being productive while not at the office – they make calls, answer emails, and solve problems using their mobile devices.
That’s why Millennials generally don’t like being anchored to their desk – why should they spend 8 hours in front of their desktop computer when they’re already done with their daily plan and can easily answer the few late emails from their home or the nearby coffee shop? It’s simple – Millennials don’t understand why they’re getting paid for showing up. That is unless their job requires physical presence.
Remember that Millennials were a generation brought up in households where both parents worked – sometimes as much as 60 hours a week. Millennials don’t want to make the same mistake – they want to have a thriving career, but also an exciting life outside the cubicle. They’re usually tech-savvy and can set up their office literally anywhere, working their on flexible hours and accomplishing way more than their peers who are stuck at the office.
5. They value different work benefits than other generations
Millennials know how to do their research about your company. Before they even apply for a job, they’re bound to get to know all the details about your organization – including reviews left by former and current employees, its history, as well as mission. Before they commit to the job, they will want to know whether your company provides some of the intangible benefits they find important.
Millennials no longer want a steady job by the desk, fixed hours or the perspective of annual bonuses or attractive pension plans. What they’re looking for are specific company culture, friendly working environment, minimized micromanagement or bureaucracy and sabbaticals.
They’re attracted to employers with whom they share values. They appreciate nice office space, flexible schedules, permission to bring pets to work and wellness benefits. Some of these are actually low cost, so if you’d like to keep your young employees motivated, happy and loyal, you should use those instead of offering them a lucrative salary.
6. Millennials want to learn from experience
As a generation, Millennials are ambitious and won’t be satisfied working as a middle-level managers for the rest of their lives. They liked to be challenged – they’re always on the lookout for new knowledge and first-hand experience. Personal growth is much more important to them than to other generations – they don’t believe education finishes after college graduation. Life-long learning is their thing.
Employers who have a host of Generation Y employees at their companies should offer them opportunities for growth – from classic training designed to master new skills to a subscriptions to various online courses held at a prestigious institutions. You can encourage them to enroll in such programs and improve their qualifications by establishing a tuition-reimbursement fund. Why not invite speakers to your office and spice up your office life? You can also send your Millennial employees to training sessions and workshops – they’ll appreciate it.
7. They’re highly autonomous
Finally, it goes without saying that Millennials are in general highly autonomous. They know how to find information and if they lack any skills, they’re ready to take advantage of free learning resources to gain new qualifications.
Consider the fact that Millennials grew up in an era of rapid technological expansion, where 20-something tech entrepreneurs grew into millionaires right before their eyes – growing their immense companies from garages or dorm rooms. That’s why Millennial workers believe they can be successful as well.
Millennials hate micromanagement and they don’t like to be preached to – they want to be directly involved in the decision-making process. Shutting their voice, you might lose an incredibly valuable resource. Moreover, they’ll hate you for it. If your company is set to drive innovation, you should let them speak and act. Allow the most junior person share their ideas about the product and you’ll be on your way to developing something truly unique.