Lazy. Entitled. Disloyal. Millennials often get a bad rap when it comes to their work ethic and motivations in the office. Critics paint a negative picture about the generation that came of age during the financial crisis in 2008, but is it an accurate one?
The truth is, roughly 80 million millennials currently make up the majority of workers in the US, outnumbering both Generation X and Baby Boomers. By 2025, millennials will make up three-quarters of the global workforce. Believing the negativity that surrounds this youthful generation will only hurt your company’s chances of developing a diverse team and attracting the newest, brightest workers.
As more and more millennials enter the workforce, companies will need to innovate to attract and retain new talent—not bash them their supposed lack of direction or inability to commit. Instead of leaving your HR managers and executives to play catch-up, let’s start by debunking the biggest myths about millennial workers.
Myth: Millennials are unmotivated in the pursuit of jobs and career goals.
Truth: This assumption about millennials was perpetuated by the fallout in 2008, when unemployment was high, job availability was low, and recent grads were drowning in student loan debt. In reality, millennials are just as motivated (if not more so) than previous generations to obtain gainful employment and climb the career ladder.
Myth: Millennials don’t respond well to authority and prefer mentors over bosses.
Truth: Just because millennials value transparency doesn’t mean they abhor authority. Instead of being micromanaged, they want to gain working knowledge and understanding of how things work as a whole in order to grow their abilities and contribute to the success of the company.
Myth: Millennials aren’t loyal to companies and will quit at the drop of a hat.
Truth: Loyalty goes both ways. Millennials, like any other generation in today’s workforce, will go where the opportunity is. These days, pensions are a rarity, so what’s the incentive to stay? If there’s a low probability for job growth, career advancement, lateral development, or pay increase, employees of ALL ages will most likely seek out greener pastures.
Myth: Millennials act entitled and think they know everything.
Truth: Millennials are well-versed in technology as it relates to the information age, meaning they are up to speed on industry trends, salaries, job responsibilities and more. Again, millennials value transparency, and having this information doesn’t make them entitled—it makes them aware of their worth as employees.