Over the past decade or so, the ‘M word’ has taken on something of a negative connotation. Media stories love to use it to grab attention, and many talk about how terrible it is, even if they don’t understand exactly what it means.
Millennials, otherwise known as generation Y, have had a bad rap lately, but fortunately, the negative view on this group of youths is in no way earned. On the contrary, millennials in the workplace have become quite the asset.
The stereotyped millennial
One of the largest stereotypes around millennials is that they are lazy. This is categorically untrue. When studied, it was found millennials often don’t take their vacation days compared with older generations, and were more likely to be “work martyrs”.
Another stereotype is that of self-entitlement. Born of a generation that was given participation trophies just for showing up, it is often thought that gen Y characteristics include this unhelpful workplace trait. However, while there will always be those in each generation who feel they deserve more than they earn, it’s most likely this belief comes from the fact that millennials are quite switched on when it comes to knowing what they’re worth. Anyone who has put themselves through four years of successful university study, only to be offered minimum wage, is not entitled if they ask for more, only realistic.
Actual generation Y characteristics
First and foremost, one of the most obvious positive characteristics of a millennial is their natural instinct for technology. Those born between 1981 and 1996 have grown up with computers, phones, iPads, and everything in between, so picking up new software and hardware is second nature to them, which is a useful skill in any workplace.
Another major character trait for many millennials is their creativity. As a generation that has grown up with massive leaps in technology, it’s easy to see why their outlook on life is ‘anything is possible’, and it’s their creativity will get them there.
Millennials are also extremely concerned about the environment, which is making them more eco-friendly than previous generations.
This generation is also notably collaborative. Schools, including universities, have put a higher emphasis on working together, listening to one another and pulling together everyone’s strengths for the best outcome. Pair this with millennials’ use of collaborative technology such as group chats and emails, and it makes for an efficient taskforce for any project.
The positive side of millennials in the workforce
So how are millennials changing the workplace for good?
It’s a combination of their positive traits that’s coming together to create change in workplaces around the world.
Their creativity means that they’re tackling tasks with new ideas and fresh outlooks, which is quickly eradicating outdated processes and bringing in more streamlined solutions.
Their tech-savvy nature is helping ensure technological resources work as they should, and means that businesses get the most efficiency and productivity out of the tools at hand.
Their environmental side is helping companies to reconsider their own policies regarding everything from paperwork to recycling, which is overall a bonus for any business’ branding.
Finally, their collaborative nature means they can work together as a team quickly and easily to focus on work goals and create positive outcomes.
Overall, the millennial attitude is not one of disdain for the workplace and superiors but a love of the challenge, the right attitude to solve problems, and an ingrained sense of needing to help. So the question is, why not hire millennials?