Millennials face unique challenges in the workplace as technology advances to unite the global community, especially as Generation X approaches retirement. Issues arise with management, job satisfaction and stability. The world is shifting, and millennials are eager for upgrades. This generation will unite technology with social consciousness for both humanity and the individual. It’s not just business anymore.
As of 2015, millennials became the largest generation to enter the workforce. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that by 2030, this generation will make up 75 percent of the workforce.
Millennials are tech-savvy, continuous learners, diverse, positive, achievement-driven, socially conscious and highly educated.
Millennials know there’s more to life. Here're some stats about Millennials in the global workplace:
- Despite a rough economy, three out of four millennials say they are very happy
- More than 70 percent of millennials define success as “having a job you enjoy,” “being happy” and “being part of a family,” but nothing to do with income
- Millennials, on average, report having more happiness than stress
- 72 percent of millennials want to be their own boss
- They’re loyal. Many millennials believe they will only have two to five employers in a lifetime
- 78 percent believe companies have a social responsibility to better the world
Millennials Unite Information Technology With Common Sense and Interconnectivity
Few within this generation have lived disconnected from the Internet, tablets and cellphones. Huddles' Enterprise Information Landscape study reveals the technological frustrations of millennials in the workplace:
- Time wasted searching for documents: 28 percent of the total sample core thought this frustrating versus 38 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds
- Discovering who knows specific information about a task or project: 17 percent of the total sample core compared to 33 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds
- Locating co-workers’ contact information: 10 percent versus 24 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds, and 14 percent of 25- to 31-year-olds
- 60 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds and 57 percent of 25- to 38-year-olds feel overwhelmed by documents, discussions on social media, images and videos every day
As millennials take on internships and entry-level jobs, they are faced with legacy systems that match the hierarchal structure of the old business model. There are too many workarounds to count. The issue is that too many existing systems are separated, slow and don’t stand up against common sense, especially when there’s technology to fix the situation.
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Older millennials toward age 30 have a unique perspective and advantage. They grew up with dial-up and riding bikes with friends. They remember the rotary phone and The Beatles spinning on the record player. Older millennials were witness to the rate of advancing technology and appreciate its timeline. They are better positioned in management to effect change and understand how to implement it when and as needed.
All millennials were raised in households where their activities were closely monitored due to that same technology. Millennials were pushed even harder in school and extracurricular activities and had the most stress placed on them than previous generations. They are used to consistent progress reports, outlined goals with plans of action, and one-on-one discussions and reviews. Millennials need and encourage such structure in the workplace, but with consideration for empathy and the individual’s personality.
We are in the age of information technology and social media. Millennials have been on social media platforms since they were teenagers. With so much technology, there is still a failure to be heard and understood in the workplace. Millennials are perfectly fine with talking to strangers and have a knack for integrating systems that achieve optimal streamlined results. They understand how individualized feedback is vital to company success. Millennials will adapt advancing technology to the workplace with common sense and a focus on interconnectivity.
Millennials Aren’t Lazy; They Just Want Flexibility and Quality
Aside from the aftershocks of the recession, a 2011 Pew study says that millennials are having a harder time finding long-term employment, and it’s not because they’re lazy or privileged. 41 percent of people thought young adults ages 18 to 34 were having a rougher time in today’s marketplace than older adults when it came to finding long-term employment. One-third of millennials went back to college due to the weak economy, incurring more debt. About one-quarter delayed getting married or having children by choice.
Adults aged 65 and over have weathered the storm better because they had a head start under circumstances and opportunities better suited to them. The public says that eight out of 10 (82 percent) claim finding a job is harder for young adults today than it was for their parents’ generation. Seven out of 10 say it’s harder now to save for the future (75 percent), pay for college (71 percent) or buy a home (69 percent).
Millennials now have an opportunity to bridge the gap by making innovative and well-reasoned choices for future generations. Many millennials believe in their skills and can find a job, any job just to pay the bills. Nearly half do, according to the 2011 Pew study, but most are seeking quality. What’s needed is change.
Millennials are not finding just any job because they see how the current system is flawed. The work-life equation is extremely out of balance. Millennials aren’t interested in being robots. Many are pursuing entrepreneurship and contract work to make ends meet in a shifting global economy. They can use this flexibility to create startups with flexible and quality opportunities that other millennials deeply desire.
Millennials Are Diverse and Eager to Giving to the World
This generation has more people who come from single-parent homes, blended families and same-sex parent families. Many earn a higher education and have experienced the ups and downs of the economy. This diverse generation has been encouraged and pushed to succeed. Throughout hardships, millennials believe strongly in themselves and the potential of others.
This generation is very socially conscious when it comes to choosing where their groceries come from and the companies they support. It makes sense that they also want their employers to give back to the world, too, and not just take. Millennials are reshaping the concept of charity and online giving so that hopefully the idea of giving out of obligation will be redefined as something natural human beings do for each other. Millennial entrepreneurs and many companies are now taking steps to integrate policies of social consciousness and giving into their existing plans. The truth is that most millennial donors want to feel invested in a cause more than through monetary means. They want to see change be effected.
Millennials Bring Change With a Will-Do Attitude
Millennials demand the change of outdated systems and ways of thinking as so much was demanded of them through social and economic challenges. It’s not just business. The largest generation who has lived in an age of advanced information technology is about the hit the workforce in full force, with a focus on positivity, innovation and interconnectivity.
Millennials will change the workplace and the world. This generation doesn’t believe in can do. It believes in will do.