The Millennial generation is now getting more well-known in the business world. Generally defined as being born between 1980 and 2000, these young adults have gotten quite the negative reputation. They speak their minds, are more attached to technology than you or your parents, and have been stereotyped as having an annoying sense of entitlement. But the fact remains, Millennials are the future of the business world.
They are now the largest generation in the workforce as of late 2015, but many employers are at a loss for how to retain Millennials, if they choose to hire in this age group at all. But what good things do they have going in business today and for the world? Here are some traits many share that are making their businesses successful, even if their workplace is a little more nontraditional.
The Human Element
First and foremost, Millennials have shown a strong desire to have their work mean something. This is a major reason why many seem to get bored or frustrated with their jobs and quit, leading many confused employers scratching their heads and looking for outside help to retain younger workers. Millennials have grown up and graduated into a big recession to see their parents laid off by corporations where the CEO makes considerably more than everybody else. As a result, this generation does not have the sense of loyalty to their employers that older generations generally do. Their loyalty and respect must be earned, and in businesses run by Millennials, more democratic approaches seem to be paying off.
For example, Millennials gravitate towards having a leader rather than a boss. They want their ideas to be heard and considered, and in doing so, they have created more democratic workplaces and business models that are working. Uber, GoPro, and Airbnb are all younger businesses that focus on collective contribution to get mutually agreeable results.
Money Isn’t the End All
Many Millennials would rather be in a job they like and in a place where they feel appreciated rather than having a gigantic salary. In other words, they aren’t just in it for the money. A higher pay raise that results in a horrible work-life balance isn’t going to make them happy. Younger-run businesses know to focus more on the work environment they offer and why the work they do is important, rather than just on the salary.
Millennials are well-known for their dependence on technology, some might even say overdependence. They have consistently embraced new technologies and integrated them into their lives and businesses which allows various parts of a business to function more smoothly. For example, instead of hiring twenty people to run an HR department, they might relegate Employee Onboarding tasks to software programs like Bamboo HR. It could also be argued that this constant embrace of new technologies spurs Millennials as a whole to diversify their workplaces to help continue to innovate and come up with new ideas.
More Flexible Work Schedules
When Millennials say they want a work-life balance, it doesn’t mean they don’t want to work, as some might first think. What Millennials really desire is a more flexible work schedule, which lends itself very well to their absorption of technology. Allowing for more flexible work schedules has actually been shown to increase productivity and decrease the amount of time workers waste when not engaged in a particular task. Younger businesses have begun trusting their employees more, allowing them more paid leave in general or up front, with the understanding that their work must still be satisfactory. Companies that have put this type of benefit into practice are seeing little to no abuse of these policies as a result.
Perhaps it’s time to stop blaming Millennials and forcing them to comply with traditional business practices. Instead, business owners must realize they are changing the workplace for everyone’s benefit.