In Insight, People

A whole industry has emerged advising businesses on how to adjust their management styles to meet the expectations of millennials. Companies should be planning how to recruit and retain the millennial generation. In fact, success depends on it. However, much of this is based on a set of myths that continue to be perpetuated about millennials.

The Facts: 

  • Millennials comprise those born between 1980 and 2000, also known as Generation Y, Generation Me, Echo Boomers, or Generation 9/11.
  • Millennials are the largest group in America’s workforce, making up 37% of the total, compared with 34% for the Baby Boomers who are now retiring in droves.
  • They are the first generation to have grown up in the digital era.

Millennial Myths and Truths: 

  • They are not competitive.
    • 59% of them said competition is “what gets them up in the morning,” compared with 50% of Baby Boomers.
    • 58% of millennials said they compare their performance with that of their peers, as against 48% for other generations.
  • They are collaborators.
    • 37% of millennials say they don’t trust their peers’ input at work; for other generations the average was 26%.
  • They are anti-careerist.
    • 33% of millennials put “future career opportunity” among their top five reasons for choosing a job, compared with 21% for other generations.
  • They are focused on corporations that do good. 
    • Only 35% of millennials put a high emphasis on CSR, compared with 41% of Baby Boomers.
  • They do not want to be told what to do.
    • 41% of millennials agreed that “employees should do what their manager tells them, even when they can’t see the reason for it,” compared with 30% of Baby Boomers and 30% of members of generation X.
    • Millennials are more likely to seek and value feedback from their managers than members of other generations.
  • They prefer to be communicated with digital media.
    • More than 90% of millennials said they wanted to receive their performance evaluations and to discuss their career plans face-to-face.

Millennials are less of an anomaly than we think. All generational cohorts want roughly the same things regardless of when they were born when it comes to their careers. They want to be given interesting work, to be rewarded on the basis of their contributions, and to be given the chance to work hard and get ahead.

Read the full article in The Economist.

Photo: Ben O’Sullivan via Unsplash

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