I came across a fascinating infographic the other day: "Are Millennials a Lost Generation?" It's also pictured at the end of my blog.
Although we’ve discussed Millennials and generational gaps before, it seems that the discussion/ controversy of the issues members of this generation are having in the workplace rages on.
By the way, for those unsure ... the term "Millennial" refers to those who “came of age” since the millennium, adults ages 18 to 34. According to this infographic, a whopping 37 percent of this group are either unemployed, or otherwise out of the workforce.
Luckily, optimism appears to be one of their strongest virtues, with a full 88 percent believing that they will be making more than enough in the future. And as far as I’m concerned, they have good reason to be optimistic. As a generation, they are tech savvy, open-minded, and entrepreneurial in nature.
This fascinating study by Pew Research calls Millennials confident, connected, and open to change. That sure sounds like the kind of people I’d like to have in my workplace!
Yet their difficulties fitting into the mainstream workplace have been well documented and loudly lamented.
Perhaps there really are two sides to every story...
If you’ve been hesitant to hire Millennials, or have hired them but find that their dependence/addiction to technology and their lack of soft skills have disappointed your expectations, I’d definitely suggest reading this article to get a better, more well-rounded picture of this generation.
Here are some excerpts from the Pew study:
Nearly six-in-ten respondents cited work ethic as one of the big sources of differences between young and old. Asked who has the better work ethic, about three-fourths of respondents said that older people do.
Perhaps this explains some of their difficulty in today’s workforce?
- Their entry into careers and first jobs has been badly set back by the Great Recession, but they are more upbeat than their elders about their own economic futures as well as about the overall state of the nation.
- Some 41% of Millennials say they are satisfied with the way things are going in the country, compared with just 26% of those ages 30 and older. Whatever toll a recession, a housing crisis, a financial meltdown and a pair of wars may have taken on the national psyche in the past few years, it appears to have hit the old harder than the young.
- They embrace multiple modes of self-expression. Nearly four-in-ten have a tattoo; nearly one-in-four have a piercing in some place other than an earlobe. But their look-at-me tendencies are not without limits. Most Millennials have placed privacy boundaries on their social media profiles. And 70% say their tattoos are hidden beneath clothing.
Read the full Pew report here.
If the Millennials are the most open-minded generation this nation has yet produced, why aren’t we taking advantages of those qualities? As I’ve said before, dealing with the generations and their differences does not have to be so difficult. All it really takes is the willingness to listen, to try and understand, and to communicate effectively and honestly.
If you’re struggling with a generational gap in your business, perhaps some targeted training might help everyone get on the same page, and bring your firm’s productivity and corporate culture to the next level?
Please take a look at our training program, Bridging the Generational Gap.