October 10, 2014 By Lindsey Pollak 5 Comments

Why Millennials Matter in the WorkplaceWhether other generations like it or not, Millennials matter in the workplace. With their approach to what it means to be an employee, they are changing the way HR departments and managers relate to workers in all generations. They dream big and aren’t afraid to go after what they want — even if it means changing jobs or striking out on their own and creating their own opportunities.

This week, I’ve been reading articles about why Millennials matter in the workplace, the value they bring and how they’re changing work as we’ve always known it.

Mentoring in a Millennial World. Talent Management: “Millennials want mentoring, but not the traditional kind — at least not exclusively. According to Philip Antonelli, learning strategist at Xerox Corp., many organizations are missing the mark when it comes to building mentoring programs that will help them learn and develop. ‘Millennials reject the idea that one person is capable of assisting in their growth and development,’ he said. ‘One can hardly blame them — modern business is extremely complicated and consistently evolving. Who can reasonably expect that a single person has all the answers?’”
5 Ways Millennials Work Differently, and How They Plan to Take Over the Business World. Cincinnati Business Courier: “Millennials are willing to travel the longest amount of time to get to work, much longer than either gen Xers or Boomers, but the majority of Millennials also said access to public transportation is important when considering where to work. If Millennials are riding a bus or taking some other form of public transportation, it would make sense that they would be OK spending more time commuting because that would still be time they could be productive. As for how Millennials will take over the business world, they are the most entrepreneurial generation. Nearly 40 percent, 38 percent to be exact, of Millennials currently own or plan to own their own business. That compares to 29 percent for Gen Xers and 20 percent for Boomers.”
How Much Should You Invest in Young Talent? Chief Learning Officer: “The reason young people are constantly switching jobs goes beyond impatience with old-fashioned workplaces, however. ‘Oftentimes, they find the work is not very challenging, or not very interesting, or not very meaningful,’ said Tammy Erickson of Tammy Erickson Associates, an author and researcher who studies employee engagement and changing workforce and demographic trends. ‘So they move on to look for something that’s more challenging and meaningful.’ In other words, those who move around the most are typically the highest-performing employees, the ones who want to make the biggest impact. Movement is inevitable. While it can be difficult trying to retain young, driven workers, employers should keep in mind the quickest-moving Millennials often produce the highest return on investment.”
Are Millennials Delusional About Their Job Prospects? MarketWatch: “According to a survey released Friday by job site Glassdoor.com, employees are feeling more confident about the job market than they have in nearly six years — and Millennials are leading the pack in terms of confidence. Nearly two in three millennial employees say they are confident they could find a job matched to their experience and current compensation levels within the next six months, compared with less than half of 35-54 year olds and less than one in four seniors. Millennials’ extreme confidence is interesting because it comes even as this generation faces higher unemployment than older generations.”
Schwan: Millennials – and Why They Matter in the Workplace. Argus Leader: “Creating an optimal workplace environment can’t be done without the right culture. For a new generation, it means establishing performance measurements and, when possible, giving workers the freedom to meet your objectives when and where works for them. It means being less hierarchical and more inclusive. And it means showing your employees you value them as people first who make a product or perform a service second. The truth is, most of what Millennials want from their jobs is no different than what any other worker wants. They just have the market demand and the confidence to ask for it.