According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics, by the year 2020 nearly 50 percent of the U.S. workforce will consist of millennials, and by 2025 the percentage hikes up 75 percent. The generation that has been labelled as lazy, attention-needy and self-centered will soon, if not already, appear in your workplace. What makes our generation so different, and how can we optimize together?
Every generation is influenced by the experiences they grew up with, and millennials are no different. Growing up through terrorist attacks, technology and social media has an impact on the way we view life and want to live it. We seek socially centered occupations that give meaning to our lives, and we prefer flexibility over pay to maintain a proper work/life balance. Not approving the 9 a.m to 5 p.m. relic, we look to make it a thing of the past and change how we conduct business. With the creation of applications, fresh, new ideas are making freelance and self-employment career options grow. For those of us who do not have the pleasure of being our own bosses, we value trust and must see it present with our immediate supervisor. We want to feel confident that we are being listened to and that our input will be considered when it is time to make decisions.
We believe we can teach other generations a thing or two about new-age technological efficiency. We do not just want to learn how to do the job, but we want to innovate the process and find the most efficient way to get it done. This may not always be the most personal way, so this is where a utilization of give and take between generations can be applied. Growing up with technology and social media, it gets very easy to speak with people through a screen. Past generations did not have that liberty and believe in the power of relationship building. By leveraging on each other’s strengths and understanding what influences each other, we can reach optimum productivity within the workplace.
Addressing the labels above that are associated with millennials, generations have always gone through cycles of intimidation and blame. Workplaces can either resist the new needs of our generation or can adapt their environment to appeal to all their employees, engage them and progress with the changing world.
Cruz is operations/training coordinator for Dale Carnegie of Rochester.