5 Millennial Misconceptions

5 Millennial Misconceptions

Not a day goes by without another article about millennials popping up. “How to micro manage your millennials”, “Why Millennials hate to work” (slight

Not a day goes by without another article about millennials popping up. “How to micro manage your millennials”, “Why Millennials hate to work” (slight exaggerations but you get the idea). So how is his article any different from the ones invading your newsfeed every day? We are different because we realised that Millennials aren’t the problem, organisations are. Businesses are not doing enough to embrace technology and change the way they work. The early Millennials are turning 37 this year and make up more than 50 percent of our workforce, so companies need to accommodate these employees or they will miss out on the huge productivity surge, engaged younger staff can provide.

We asked Katrina McMahon at Personal Group to help dispell the top 5 myths about Millennials and uncover how organisations can turn these negatives into positives and make Gen Y work for them.

Myth 1- Millennials are lazy

It could be that younger staff are reluctant to get stuck into new tasks or seem unmotivated. This shouldn’t be misinterpreted as laziness when you may find that staff are just unengaged. Unengaged staff are less likely to be positive, work hard and may not be very happy in the office. This can be solved pretty easily by sitting down and speaking to your Millennial workforce to understand what is going on. Whilst most people believe that our digital natives prefer IM’s to a face to face chat they are wrong. Millennials actually prefer one on one conversations in person as so much of their lives are spent on devices. Using a combination of face to face communications alongside technology is the best way to speak to your staff to get their feedback on why they aren’t skipping into work each day. It may uncover some quick fix remedies such as a revamp of your benefits programme or introduction of some wellness programmes, gym classes or even an EAP to help them work on their overall wellbeing which can in turn improve engagement and productivity (SMF 2016).

Myth 2- Millennials are glued to their phones and addicted to tech.

You might be right here! Millennials are digital natives they expect a digital, connected world as a minimum. As a result, young people today expect the workplace to embrace technology the way they do in their consumer lives. Therefore, when they find management clinging on to old ways of doing things it can cause frustration. So what is wrong with embracing technology as a way to engage with your staff? With most people spending up to 4 hours a day on their mobile phones, organisations need to take full advantage. An employee benefits app is a great way to send out useful information to staff where you know they will pay attention. From push notifications to pulse surveys and more, companies can make every effort to engage with younger staff to make sure that they are more engaged at work.

Myth 3- Millennials always need praise to feel valued

So what if Millennials need a lot of feedback? Surely that must show a willingness to learn and develop? Organisations can utilise this to their advantage and see this as an opportunity rather than a hindrance. Implementing a digital reward and recognition can appease Generation Y and potentially revolutionise the work place culture. It doesn’t have to be over complicated either. A simple points system where staff can say thanks to each other for going above and beyond is a great place to start. Integrate this into your benefits app so staff can give points in the moment and save them up to spend on something they actually want. The more valued staff are, the more engaged they will be so a bit of extra feedback and praise isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Myth 4- Millennials only want to work for companies that give back

That’s right, these Gen Y’s care about making a difference and you will probably find it hard to find any other generation that wouldn’t like to work for a company that helps others. Giving back can be a lot than just litter picking once a year. Small initiatives are great, but if you really want to engage millennials, then immersive CSR is where it’s at. They will see through a box ticking exercise if it doesn’t fully align with the company’s mission and values. In order to be successful, charity work must align with the wider business objectives, otherwise millennial staff will see right through it.

Personal group is driven by a passion for making people happy. And that goes beyond out day-to-day work. Our CSR Programme brings together staff from all over the business, across all job levels and gives them the chance to volunteer in Kenya at a school built by funds from Personal Group. Alongside the Memusi Foundation, they work together to help in the local communities and the results are incredible. Upon returning, the bond between the groups is very strong and they all have a greater commitment, both to their teams and the Company as a whole. Millennials might want to work for companies who work hard for a good cause, but what is so wrong with that? You might find that giving back can be good for business!

Myth 5- Millennials won’t stick around for very long

People often say that millennials will have more jobs in their lifetime than any other generations. If this is the way things are going, then organisations need to make sure they maximise the time they have with millennials before they move onto pastures news. By encouraging new ideas and learning and development opportunities, organisations can ensure that they are getting the most from their younger employees. Alternatively, if companies are really dedicated to keeping their staff then they can work on ways to retain staff so they are less likely to change jobs. Career progression plans, training and a comprehensive benefits programme are all ways to make sure that staff stick around for longer.

In tackling the common misconceptions of millennials it is clear that they are often misunderstood and organisations need to take time to understand the individual needs of an employee rather than bunching them into the one group. Instead of trying to change employees, organisations need to focus on the best ways to recruit, retain and motivate their Millennial staff.