The Millennials are the most effective generation yet.
You know the generation, known as Gen Y, that live and breathe technology. Now young adults in their 20s and 30s, they are the future leaders for an era of mass change at a very rapid rate.
No, I am not from the Millennial Generation. I am from Gen X with Baby Boomer parents and have been in workplaces surrounded by Gen Y. I have heard the comments about the millennials.
You know the bad rap they receive it invariably sounds something like this:
- Gen Y are too technology focused and not social in real life.
- Gen Y have seen the world grow so much in their lifetime that they don’t even realise what it was like in the past.
- Gen Y are not loyal and will jump ship at the drop of a hat.
- Gen Y have had it so easy they don’t know how to do a hard day’s work.
- Gen Y are arrogant and disrespectful.
- Gen Y won’t be able to cope if the tough times come.
- Gen Y all want to be famous and expect pay rises and more money continuously.
Yet, I have found in my own experience, they are the opposite.
Gen Y are very tech-savvy and use it to their advantage, especially in the workplace. They are often the ones to train older generations on technology, which allows the business to go from strength to strength. Millennials often think of technological solutions that end up saving businesses time and energy.
Being a generation that has seen information overload, they are extremely clever and resourceful. Gen Y are also discerning. They have been given much more space at a young age to trust their instincts and make up their own mind. Millennials are not easily influenced.
Only 17 per cent of Gen Y claim money is the motivating factor for them in jobs. It is meaning that wins hands down. They want to be supporting a cause, it excites them to do so. This combined with their tech savviness means Millennials can garner support quickly and effectively for a cause they believe in.
Gen Y have a higher need for praise and validation, which often facilitates effort and achievement.
They are self-expressive. Millennials will put ideas out there and thrive on brainstorming, generating new solutions and perspectives.
Due to their abundance mentality, Gen Y are expansive thinkers and not limited by fear that tends to pervade the older generations.
With Millennials respect is earned. It is not automatically given to elders or people in more senior positions. Gen Y take you on face value, take time to know you and will admire you, if you deserve it. They are extremely loyal, if you earn their respect.
While Gen Y might request regular pay rises, promotions and have high expectations, this is fundamental to what makes them so great. They don’t expect your business to work for free and they don’t feel they should work for free. Give them the challenge of generating the extra income for the business, which leads to more money and promotions and they’ll go for it. Millennials expect rewards when they put in the hard yards – as we all should. So you need to help them map each destination point, give them goals and then show them the necessary appreciation. When you do this Gen Y are especially grateful.
In terms of the tough times you can be assured they are resilient. This crowd has been the first generation to experience cancer at its highest levels effecting their family and friends; Millennials have witnessed some very turbulent times worldwide; and divorces between parents and families, all which has given them a lot to consider from a young age. Gen Y have also been judged by people they know (and don’t know) as they navigated self-branding on social media. This started from an age when most of us older folk would have still been playing shop and pretending we were BMX bandits.
As with all types of diversity, you can be annoyed by differences or you can view it as a strategic advantage and learn how to harness the differences that people bring to the workplace.
While Gen Y can challenge you and your business in ways you never expected, they can also lead you to innovation and new ways, which is what you need. Coming to a happy place of acceptance is necessary to embrace their generational differences and qualities.
I believe the Millennial Generation are going to be the ones to lead mass change at a very rapid rate. The fastest rate we have ever seen. So brace yourselves and ensure your business knows how to harness the talents of Gen Y and how to inspire them to drive your business forward.
Michelle Crawford is the Chief Conversationalist at Being More Human, a business focused on increasing the humanity in the workplace. If you would like to discuss ways you can understand and develop your teams effectively phone 0432 265 335 or email *protected email*