Millennials in the Workplace

Lorrie RayS. Lorrie Ray, Membership Development

A recent Business Journal article reported that Denver was in the top 10 of cities best for Millennials. As an employer, you may wonder why that matters.  Indeed, so called Millennials, those born between 1981 and 2002, now comprise the majority of our workforce.  What defines Millenials?  This generation grew up with email and e-commerce, not to mention Oprah, reality TV, and parent advocacy.  Like the generations before, and those that will come after, the culture they grew up in shapes their viewpoints and their values.

What is happening now in the workplace is very interesting.  While Millennials may make up the greatest number or workers, we are seeing four generations in the workplace. That will be soon growing to five generations, as some employees put off retirement and the next generation begins to enter the workforce at the end of this decade.

What are some tips for employers experiencing employees with generational differences?  First, remember that most employees have more in common than differences between them. With that said, here are some tips for keeping in sync with the generations in your workplace:

Offer choices. Not all employees are alike, and a workplace benefit one employee treasures may not be meaningful to another.

  • Ask employees what they want.  Until you do, you don’t really know.  You may be surprised that your millennial employee is thinking seriously about saving for retirement completely rejecting the stereotype of his or her generation.
  • Encourage generational conversations among your employees so that they can learn about one another’s perspectives and life experiences.  This is a great way to reduce conflict and promote understanding.
  • Help leaders learn about generational differences so that they can flex their style to meet different needs.
  • Educate yourself about the differences (and similarities) amongst generations.

If you want more information on generations in the workplace, give MSEC a call.  We can help you figure out how Millennials, and other generations, might affect your environment.