“Self-absorbed, lazy, narcissistic, entitled, and overly sensitive” are just a few of the words used to describe Millennials (those born between 1982 and 2004). Some studies show that Millennials face the most discrimination as a generation. Other research shows that the same words and attitudes were used to describe the Baby-Boomer Generation (born between 1946 and 1964) and Generation X (born between 1965 and 1981) as they began to dominate the workforce. Fortunately, employers have begun to recognize and harness the strengths and unique perspectives Millennials bring to the workplace.
There’s no doubt Millennials are unlike preceding generations. They are less motivated by the traditional corporate ladder and old rules of corporate hierarchy and more driven by meaningful work, structured expectations, opportunities for professional development through mentorship and coaching, and communication via technology.
Millennials are the fastest growing segment of the workforce. In 2014, 36 percent of the U.S. workforce was composed of this generation, and by 2020, nearly half (46 percent) of all U.S. workers will be Millennials (Lynch, 2008). By 2025, Millennials will make up as much as 75 percent of the U.S. workforce (Brookings Institute, 2014). Clearly, there are compelling reasons for employers to take note of this growing demographic.
Leading organizations are realizing that if they want to continue to enjoy success, they need to tap into and learn from Millennials. Johnson & Johnson, General Electric, and Gap Inc. are among the companies that have created platforms for gathering information from Millennials to find out about their desires for communication, leadership, opportunities for professional growth, and need for work-life blend and balance. Increasingly, business leaders are grabbing hold of this generation’s unique contributions and views.
Millennials are known for having the ability to see possibilities beyond the problems and to work together with colleagues toward a common goal that is meaningful and inspiring. Millennials tend to be idealistic and optimistic with a core desire and belief that through work they can change the world for the better. Aren’t these things that all businesses and organizations seek?
MSEC would love the opportunity to learn more from Millennials about their experiences in the workplace. We will be hosting The Millennial Majority: Voices of Millennials in the Workplace on Wednesday, June 3 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., a gathering of Millennials to network, collaborate, and be heard. If you are a Millennial and interested in joining our event, please talk to the main contact on your organization’s MSEC account for approval and contact us for registration information. We look forward to hearing from you!