Neil Howe and William Strauss, authors of the 1991 book Generations: The History of America's Future, 1584 to 2069, are often credited with coining the term, Millennials. Although the precise delineation varies from one source to another, but Howe and Strauss defined the Millennial cohort as consisting of individuals born between 1982 and 2004.
When it comes to the workplace, Millennials also known as Generation Y, seems to have a bad reputation. There are some who hear the term, “Millennials” and immediately think of a group of lazy, entitled kids who are glued to their smart phones and are anything but prepared for a professional working environment. Others would argue that Millennials are largely misunderstood; that they are simply products of the context into which they were born, and they’re making do with the hand they’ve been dealt.
However, whatever your opinion on the millennial generation, they will make up as much as 75% of the U.S. workforce by 2025. Furthermore, a recent survey shows they are aligned with other generations when it comes to contentment in the workplace. Research shows that Millennials are a driving force behind workplace change which is expected, but what’s surprising is that the changes Millennials are pushing for in the workplace are things that are desired by everyone. They certainly bring a distinctive new flavour to the workplace and their approach to employment is changing the way organizations operate. Employers that are adapting to these generational waves are set to thrive.
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All forms of technology are becoming increasingly pertinent at work. The number of companies that digitize and embrace technology is ever growing as they do not want to be left behind. This is where there is a clear advantage of having Millennials in the workplace. There is a misconception that Millennials are obsessed with technology, but as they came of age along with the evolution of the internet, this group of people are definitely more digitally proficient than others. Additionally, being tech-savvy individuals, Millennials tend to be highly resourceful and that can help save lots of time at work. Technology forces businesses to become more efficient which in most cases will result in higher profits through various factors and it seems like Millennials have a big part to play.
Generation Y have been criticized for being too emotional at work, however, that can stem from being more focus on making a tangible difference at work and living lives defined by meaning instead of traditional benchmark of happiness. Passionate and driven by a sense of purpose, they care about the work they do more than the money or title. This presents a tremendous opportunity for employers as once Millennials find the right professional fit, they will be optimistic about their work and this positivity will influence others who may have lost their spark. On a bigger perspective, recruiting this generation helps managers examine the purpose for their company’s existence and how their organization impacts the world.