What if you had a high-powered, thoughtful, intelligent, and entrepreneurial-minded individual with something to prove in your organization, giving everything they have to make your company better? 

Well, that’s exactly what the millennials bring to a workplace! Bruce Tulgan, author of “It’s Okay to Manage Your Boss” stated, “They (millennials) will be the most high-maintenance workforce in the history of the world, but they may also be the most high-performing.”  So who are the millennials? 

They are the 54 million adult Americans between the ages 19 and 37, constituting nearly one-third of the American workforce.  Their professional profile can be described as “can do” attitude, goal oriented, tech-savvy, well-educated, environmentally conscious, socially responsible, inclusive, efficient, high producers, collaborative and innovative.  Although these characteristics are favorable, why are millennials misunderstood by older generations?

Myth #1: Millennials are lazy. 

The truth is they value work-life balance.  They work hard to land their job.  Once they accomplish that, they don’t equate long working hours with working hard.  Millennials like to be efficient at work and they are achievement oriented.  The key to connecting with the millennial population is to be flexible.  Offer schedules and telecommunication options.

Myth #2: Millennials lack respect and shouldn’t ask so many questions. 

The truth is they value leadership.  They should be encouraged to ask questions.  They may be insecure in applying their skills and they are asking questions because they want to glean from the mentorship and work experiences.  The key is to lead and guide. Establish mentorship programs, explain decisions and welcome questions.

Myth #3: Millennials are not as driven as we were at their age. 

The truth is they need to be challenged.  The world has drastically changed and what we are accustomed to, they do not share the same experiences.  They process quickly and bore easily.  They seek fast-paced growth rather than slow advancement.  The key is to give rewarding work.  Allow them to solve real business challenges and provide small, frequent perks for meeting milestones.

Myth #4: Millennials are not committed. 

The truth is they want you to invest in their skills.  Increased unemployment and high turnover rates create instability.  The key is to invest in their development.  Show your commitment to millennials with an organized multi-faceted development program.

If we take the time to implement these four keys we may tap into the hardest working, highly respectful, extremely driven and committed workforce our history has ever seen!

  1. Be Flexible
  2. Lead & Guide
  3. Give Rewarding Work
  4. Invest in Their Development