“Millennials are… (insert insult)”
The term Millennial used as a blanket statement to generally disregard anyone born between the mid-1990s to early 2000s. It’s like reading a horoscope. Today’s forecast? “There can be tensions that can trigger arguments”. Wow, much insight.
Society has popularised the notion that Millennials are a one-size-fits-all robot that’s been cloned to form a whole new generation. These robots are impatient, lazy, entitled, and sensitive to criticism.
The interest in Millennials is so overwhelming that Deloitte has an annual survey that captures the responses from nearly 8000 Millennials. The results provide some kind of insight into these robots. It even teaches the rest of society how to deal with them in the workplace.
Fun fact: I am one of these robots.
As a generation, people say Millennials have been dealt a bad hand. It’s not our fault, it’s just the way we were raised. According to popular media, all millennials were constantly told they were special.They’ve been so sheltered that they get upset when they fail. Wrong. I never received a participation award in my entire life. Hell, one year I even got kicked out of completing in cross-country because I was just that bad.
Amazingly, I still want all the same things. In fact, this robot thinks there are one or two things that Millennials want that every employee should want too.
1. Millennials want job satisfaction
Is that too much to ask? Really? Research shows that skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy, and job feedback impact upon an individual’s job satisfaction. When people find their work to be enjoyable and meaningful, they’re more likely to like their jobs and subsequently more motivated to perform their jobs well.
2. Millennials want work life balance
Shouldn’t everyone want work life balance? Nobody would prefer to spend their weekends doing work, over spending time with their loved ones (or watching a whole season of a Netflix show in my case). In the past, I’ve worked in organisations where I felt obliged to work even though I was sick or I was on leave. I saw other people doing it, and it was an accepted, if not encouraged, cultural norm. I’m not about that life. Neither are Millennials. That’s not what anyone should be about.
3. Millennials want a sense of meaning
Hell-to-the-YES! People spend approximately 30% of their life at work, so of course we want that time to have meaning. When our work has meaning, we are more likely to be happy in our job. If you’re one of the lucky ones to know what you’re passionate about; find work that drives that passion. People should find work that addresses their sense of purpose, their drive. Work shouldn’t be about the next pay check. It can be, and should be, about so much more.
4. Millennials want career progression
Career progression is not always going to be about moving up. It can be about developing your skills, pushing yourself further to achieve your dreams. In a Gallup study, 87% of Millennials said that professional development in a job is critical. Internal succession has never been a more realistic. Organisations can support eventual leadership aspirations by ensuring Millennials have the right skills before moving into such positions. We can touch the sky if we try.
5. Millennials want a mentor
I got to where I am because of the strong, brilliant-minded people I am surrounded by. I had a mentor in my previous role who was astronomical in my development as a person. She helped me, challenged me, and most of all, acted as a support mechanism through what was one of the toughest workplaces. Mentors have a positive impact through their ability to provide advice, guidance and impart knowledge. Everyone should have someone who recognises their ambitions and supports them to reach their full potential.
Many of the articles I’ve read have talked about how Millennials are impatient. We want to reap the rewards but we don’t want to work hard for it. We want instant gratification.
But if you work in a job that you don’t like, one that doesn’t give you a sense of meaning. One where you’re working more than you should be, or one where you can’t see an appropriate career path for you. A job where you don’t feel supported.
Well, you can see why Millennials jump from job to job.
Everyone should want these things from their workplace. Everyone deserves it.
*This article was written by Millennial Robot #1850623