With a spending power of more than $200 billion annually, it’s impossible for businesses to ignore the impact of Millennials on the market. In fact, it’s exactly those attempts to appeal to the loudest generation on the market that have led to cringe-worthy stereotypes that everyone is guilty of using without an afterthought. The hipster with a bushy beard and a pair of dark glasses is a typical representation of this generation. However, the diversity of races, ages, and cultures that make the Millennials who they are are quick to remind companies that the hipster with a beard is nothing but a cliché that only fits a tiny percentage of the generation. The idea, as well, that all Millenials enjoy a nomadic and adventurous lifestyle in a foreign country, foreign online when they need to and travelling the world when they don’t apply for about a quarter of the Millennial generation. The digital nomad who freelances his or her way across the globe is a stark minority. Unfortunately, it’s easy to see how a brand aiming advertising at the Millennials as a demographics could fall for the trap of clichés. The mistake that too many companies have been making is to assume that the Millennials are a niche audience, while they are, in reality, an entire generation rich in complexity and diversity. Even Microsoft has demonstrated that failure to take this generation seriously can be costly. An emailing campaign designed to recruit for the Microsoft University reportedly started with the infamous line ‘Hey Bae intern! <3’, leaving Millennials wondering whether the email was elaborated spam.
Millennials, ultimately, have been at the subject of many customer profiling, HR instruction books, and slang dictionary. But too many businesses continue to fail to understand that, just like the generation before them, Millennials are attached to contemporary development that is here to stay.
Almost 73 million of them; it’s not a trend but a reality
It’s important to note that Millennials are not the latest kids around the block. In fact, with the oldest Millennials being officially over 40, it would be unfair and unprofessional to continue to describe the generation as a youthful revolution in the workplace. The truth is that most Millennials have been working in an office for 10 to 20 years already. The novelty effect has long disappeared! However, it’s worth noting that the Millennials are projected to overtake Baby Boomers as one of the largest generations in the world. In America only they are due to represent around 73 million, which by 2019 will be more numerous than the 52 to 70-year-old generation. One of the key elements of this established, yet still unknown generation is that western countries are experiencing a generational boom as a result of young immigration. Indeed, young adults travel the world to work and increase their experience, actively boosting the population in the U.S., Australia, UK, and even Germany.The balance between tech gadgets and interactions
Millennials stand out for their skillful use of modern technology. The image of the Millennial stuck to a smartphone screen is something that has appeared in many press articles and cartoons over the years, to the point where many have renamed them the smartphone generation. The name also extends to the generation Z. However, older adults have also embraced the advantages of the digital life. In fact, despite strong speculations that Millennials are not able to put the phone down to have a face-to-face conversation, there is no evidence that social communication skills have decreased in the young adult demographics. Judging by the fact that Millennials didn’t grow up with a smartphone, it’s apparent that they also master socialisation skills. The generational cliché is often blamed as the primary reason for companies to make a cell phone policy at work: downloadable template available to their staff. With 85% of Gen Xers and 67% of Baby Boomers owning a smartphone, it’s fair to say that the blame is cross-generational.Millennials are not as sociable as other generations
There is a belief that is perpetrated unfairly throughout the workplace that implies Millennials can’t communicate effectively. Indeed, as communication is part of everyone’s job in the office, it appears unfair to blame the lack of on an entire generation. In fact, there is no indication that Millennials can’t communicate effectively. The truth is that, according to MIT Sloan School of Management Communications Group, Generation Y focuses on transmitting core messages in fewer words. Long reports are not a tool that is likely to be used in the long-term future, but more importantly, it’s not a purposeful informative exchange for Millennials. They prefer presentations that emphasise on emotional engagement through verbal and visual display. In a world where everything needs to go quickly, Millennials rely on the proverbial an image speaks a thousand words to use data visualisation as a communication tool for decisions. While this generation may not spend as much time in office chit-chat, their communication is purposeful and targeted.Stop calling them lazy
It’s difficult to pinpoint the reasoning for the lazy reputation that seems to stick to Millennials. However, a quick review of previous generations shows that most were labelled as lazy, arrogant and disrespectful in the same way that Millennials are. The lesson to learn? The reputation is more than likely unfounded. In fact, ManpowerGroup found that Millennials are working as hard if not harder than previous generations. Typically, a Millennial would work 45 to 52 hours a week – with a special note to freelancers who don’t clock out at the end of the day.
They ask the right questions
They are choosy; and it’s YOUR bad
Job-hopping has become a term that describes the Millennial’s approach to work. It’s not uncommon to meet business owners who still claim that Millennials are too high maintenance to worry about them. In fact, while there is some truth in the high-maintenance portrait, the reasoning has nothing to do with the feeling that the generation might consider themselves entitled to more privileges. Millennials understand the job specs correctly: companies are looking for excellence. But as they are ready to bring this excellence to the business, they also expect the same level of quality from their employer. Failures to comply mean losing an employer who holds you accountable for the mistakes of your business.
Millennials are the largest population in the labour force. As a result, they have united their voices to bring the business world forward by asking for flexible work options. Indeed, Millennials have claimed that everyone should be allowed to decide when and where they start and finish work. Given that digital technology lets customers pass an order at any time of the day or night, Millennials have asked why employees couldn’t receive the same advantages. The question was first perceived as disruptive. But countless companies have since proven that the future of the workplace is remote and flexible.They pursue high values
High wages and generous vacation times are essential elements of an appealing job description. However, Millennials are becoming increasingly choosy about their employers. They expect the company they work for to make a difference in the world. Values such as sustainability give them a strong sense of meaning. The sense of purpose exhibited by employees increases with age, but it’s fair to note that almost one-third of Millennials want their work to have a positive influence on the world. For companies to remain attractive, they need to embrace positive, green values in their mission statement.
In conclusion, there’s been an unfair reputation that comes from misunderstanding and a taste for clichés. Millennials, while they are thought to bring a revolution to the workplace, only respond to the current changes in society and technology. From smartphones to environmentally friendly values, Millennials have become the voice of our inevitable evolution.