The Millennial generation could be the most talked about generation in history. They are often highly criticized for their lack of anything that doesn’t concern them.
I am often asked to speak to groups of leaders about the Millennial Generation, and I am always puzzled by all the misunderstanding and complaining about Millennials – after all, people have been complaining about “kids these days” for ages.
Most often in life, when we don’t identify with something, we tend to quickly form a negative opinion about it before seeking first to understand. That is what I see a lot of Baby Boomers and Generation Xer’s doing about Generation Yer’s.
What I have discovered working with and learning from Millennials is:
And this is critical… They do not delineate between work and personal life. It is all one to them making it important to have friends at work, be able to connect with their other friends and be able to work during their personal time.
I have discovered that when Millennials are in an organization that values the same things they do and their skills are recognized and put to use, they are enthusiastic, entrepreneurial and opportunistic. I have also learned to take advantage of three key traits that Millennials have above all other generations… Their ability to ask really good questions, their technical savviness and their adeptness to research and educate themselves online.
In order to get the most out of the Millennial generation at work, a leader needs to do some heavy lifting up front in the recruiting and assessing part of the hiring process and hire Millennials that are a cultural fit for the business. Next, a leader must follow a regimented program of:
In closing, when I was researching generations in the workplace recently, I found an article published in Richard Branson’s flagship business enterprise “Student Magazine” from the summer of 1969. In it, they quoted an ‘older generation person’ referring to the Baby Boomer generation as “a bunch of sex, drugs and rock and roll obsessed Hippies that were too lazy to be productive members of society.” We turned out well enough to grow up and complain about Millennials. Funny how as some things change, some things stay the same!
Robert Murray is a Vancouver, BC based Business Strategy Consultant, #1 Best Selling Author, and International Keynote Speaker. For further advice, insight and inspiration on how to unlock your inner leader, follow Robert on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
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