If you’ve been around for a while, you might know that this month I have made my one year mark as a graduate in the workforce (whoop whoop!). During that time I have made some observations about the discrepancy between millennials and their executives.
Every generation works a little different they say. I get that. And I do understand that because of small inventions like the internet a few years back, everything got a little crazy there for awhile. But it is true when they say that our beliefs and the way we think and operate are entirely different from those generations before us.
Back in the day, Wired published we would take over the workplace by 2015. It’s 2017 now, we’re here!
So for all of you executives and CEO’s it’s time to recognize that in order to work with your millennial employees, you need to change it up. I know you’ve all heard a lot about work-life balance and how we choose our employer based on a “sense of purpose”. I don’t think I need to talk about that anymore (hopefully).
But you do need to know these 3 things about us:
We need mentors.
If we have made it this far, it’s most likely that we had a long way to go. We went to college because it was expected if we wanted a good paying job. During and after college we did internships to gain as much work experience as possible because that was expected. After college we were told that we needed to get more work experience to get an entry-level job – so we got traineeships.
After so many expectations and being told over and over again that we’re not there yet, we started to believe it. It being the experience, skill, and mindset we would need for the job of your dreams.
So what we really need is a mentor. Someone to show and tell us that it is okay to make mistakes and how to best avoid them. Someone to guide us to success. Gently.
We take cell phone breaks.
What the cigarette break was ten years ago is now the short encounter to our smartphones. And yes, we are on their way too often (pretty much all the time). But while some senior employees may think that we are wasting precious working time, don’t worry.
First and foremost those few moments are a way for us to get out of our heads and think about something else for a minute, before returning to our task with a clearer mind. Also, going on social media platforms inspires and strikes our creativity.
So if your millennial employee isn’t taking a 15-minute break only to play Candycrush, relax.
We want credit.
We have pretty much grown up in a world where our Instagram likes mean more than a smile from a stranger. And while you could shake your head and feel bad for our generation, you could also use that time to realize how that transfers to our work environment.
More than ever this generation of employees needs to feel seen and rewarded. If we complete a task to your liking, it is not enough to recognize it. We need your personal confirmation. Just go with it.