Less than half of Millennials actually identify themselves as Millennial - can they be blamed for all the negative things associated with this generation?

More and more I’m seeing articles and blogs advising companies/HR managers/CEO’s on how to gear their marketing towards the millennial generation. Often there are fairly negative connotations linked with being a millennial – frequently used as an indirect derogatory term to describe a young/lazy/disengaged generation. However, is it realistic to assume these assumptions apply to an entire generation – and are they actually that impractical?

Below I’ve addressed a few of the main concerns that I hear on a regular basis regarding millennial culture.

Demanding - As millennials have grown up through the developments in technology – they are used to having everything on demand and at their fingertips. Internet providing answers immediately, phones providing instant communication, there is now no excuse for delay. As a result of this, it has been claimed that millennials expect their lives to be fast-tracked – coming into a new role with a sense of entitlement, wanting to contribute opinions and give advice almost immediately and see results instantaneously. However, this could be utilised in order to improve the business – this tech-savvy generation could have some valuable input into streamlining processes, the small amount of time it takes to listen to an idea or suggestion can help make employees feel valued and strengthen company ties and loyalty. 

Mollycoddled - Throughout their childhoods Millennials have been accused of receiving consistent praise and being told that they can achieve anything they want, therefore, this leads to consistent self-comparison to their peers. Feedback and praise are realistically essential in the day to day of a role and the only way someone can genuinely improve – by taking out those few minutes to discuss performance and develop ways to improve upon current standards you could vastly improve the way in which someone works. 

Needy - Millennials want stability and commitment. Long gone are the days whereby a company with the biggest pay packet is the most appealing. It has been said that Millennials now look for companies to invest in them and their careers, seeking longevity and stability (something that has largely been missing throughout their lives). Basic salary package is no longer all that is looked at when considering company benefits; they seek to grow with a company and as mentioned in the above have their say to contribute. Therefore, they regard things such as reward schemes, training programs and employer reputation as more in their interest. Engaged employees display emotional attachment to their organisation, reputation changes the relationship between employee and employer. Continual growth is important to any company in order for it to be successful and these small investments in employee benefits and improvement can only implement positive change.

In all honesty, I believe it is far too broad to group an entire generation spanning across three decades together in the claim that they are all specifically looking for the same thing. There have been changes in our society, culture and economic state and around these changes, people’s goals and motivations also change.

Ultimately I do believe Millennials want the same things every employee across varying generations wants: Opportunity to contribute to a company, continued learning opportunities, create meaningful work relationships, give advice and gain advice and finally being able to have a form of work/life balance. If companies focus on these aspects together rather than specific identifying factors about Millennials they create a stronger and better work environment for all.