Dear Employers: What You Need To Know About Millennials

Millennials are here to shake up the status quo’s way of paying the bills. We’re here to challenge how we work, when we work and why we work. And our collective voice is only getting stronger.

Evelyn Fiskaa, director of career development at Dominican College in Orangeburg, NY, told USA Today,

“By 2025, 75% of the American workforce will be Millennial workers, and employers will have to adapt to the market.”

As “entitled, lazy and naive” as we may be perceived by our elders, Millennials bring a fresh and much-needed perspective to the routine 9-to-5 grind.

Millennials know to value self-worth over net worth.

We don’t have much of a desire to join in on a white-collar rat race, especially if it will strip our lives of any meaning and purpose.

When I graduated from college, I was offered a recruiting job in a small office. The workspace consisted of one long table serving as a desk for a team of six.

At the head of the table was a dry-erase board with a number tally of all the recruits each team member made that week.


Dear Employers: Before you care about what we can do, show that you care about who we are.

 

I was told during the interview every hour of the eight-hour shift is structured and spent together with each employee. No flexibility whatsoever.

Before I made too many judgments, the manager assured me the job had a generous starting salary and the ubiquitous “room for growth.”

“Room for growth” doesn’t have to mean you sell your soul to a company for a year or two with the hopes they might give you a job promotion. And it definitely doesn’t mean “growing” into a robot that tries to rack up the biggest numbers each week.

Millennials don’t tolerate this and will only continue to not tolerate it.

FYI: I ended up ditching the job offer and spending a year teaching English in China (no regrets).

Dear Employers: Before you care about what we can do, show that you care about who we are.

Millennials believe in working smarter, not harder.

I remember, during an internship I had in college, I asked one of my colleagues, a Gen-Xer, why everyone wasn’t given the option to work from home one day a week.

She replied with complete shock and borderline anger at the mere thought of it even happening. How dare I bring up such an outrageous topic?

To me, it was common sense: Some people might actually work better from home and experience more joy in the process. Happier employees and higher productivity, what’s not to love?

Working from home is a win for all parties involved, including Mother Earth. The less people commuting, the less stress on the environment and other irritable drivers waiting in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

It’s not a challenge for Millennials to do our work at home. In fact, we want to do so, badly. Any company that cares about attracting Millennial talent would make it a priority to offer some flex time.

Why are companies so hell-bent on the idea that the more time a person puts into a job, the better an employee he or she is? It’s about working smarter, not harder.

You’re hired by a company to do your job, and Millennials don’t need to be trapped in a cubicle for eight hours a day to ensure that happens.

Dear Employers: Trust us with some flexibility, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the results and loyalty you get in return.

Millennials see right through the BS.

We don’t like how it feels to put on an act for the office environment. If we wanted an acting job, we would have applied for one.

Millennials aren’t fooled by people who act like they have everything together.

Rather, we appreciate a work culture where people are encouraged to be themselves and not take everything so seriously. We realize having an overly serious workplace actually inhibits collaboration and creativity.

We were raised to openly express ourselves and encourage others to do the same. Studies report we’re the most open minded and diverse generation in the workplace today.

Our open-mindedness makes us less judgmental of others while on the job. Any savvy employer today realizes this quality is key for employee engagement and makes it a priority to have in their business.

Millennials aren’t going to shrink down to fit in. We want to work where we can play full out by sharing our ideas, being personable and taking on responsibilities. We’re humble enough to listen, and confident enough to engage.

But this only happens once businesses start caring about the integrity of their employees.

Dear Employers: If Millennials ever feel like they need permission to be themselves at their jobs, don’t expect them to hang around the office for long.

Frank Macri

Frank Macri

Frank Macri, CPC, PCC, ELI-MP, is a Leadership Development Coach and Trainer dedicated to supporting organizations and individuals on achieving their highest level of performance excellence. Frank specializes in working with entrepreneurs, mid-level management and executives of diverse teams looking to expand their levels of engagement, communication and leadership. Frank also hosts The Frank Life, a podcast where Frank coaches guests looking to take charge of their relationships, career and financial success. For episodes and more, visit www.thefranklife.com.
Frank Macri