Google searching “millennials in the workplace” inevitably brings up some negative opinions related to the generation. However, it’s time for a change in perspective. While no one person is exactly the same as another, in general, millennials have some unique characteristics that actually make them excellent employees.
They’re More Agreeable to Working During Off Hours
People like to say that millennials don’t have a strong work ethic. However, a study released by Collaborata and 747 insights found that the opposite is true. It showed that millennials work hard for companies that give them the proper support. Furthermore, they’re more willing than other generations to work during time away from the office.
That doesn’t mean employers should exploit the blurred lines between work and home. But, the study’s finding might be particularly advantageous when a company with millennials on its roster is pushing hard to meet a deadline. Since 57% of respondents thought of themselves as hard workers, it makes sense why they’d understand that job duties don’t always stop when they leave the office.
They Take Care of Themselves
Research also indicates millennials are more interested in self-care than any other prior generation. From workout regimens to life coaching, they invest in tools, products and services that promote looking and feeling great.
Consider that a person who is committed to physical health and knows how important it is to look after the body, mind and emotions may be more resilient to stress. They may also be less likely to call in sick to work.
Also, employees who prioritize taking care of themselves inspire their colleagues, leading by example when signing up for Couch to 5K events, being open about mental health struggles and riding their bikes to work instead of driving. Millennials see self-care as a way of life, and will likely have been practicing it for years before entering the workforce.
Regardless of the job type or industry, technophobes typically struggle nowadays. Computers, tablets and smartphones have become as integrated into our time at work as they are at home. Millennials have a notable advantage over older generations because they’ve grown up around tech and are accustomed to using it. What’s more, they thrive in jobs that require regularly using at least one form of technology.
I had the pleasure of receiving a statement on this topic from Shane Jones, the Senior Earned Media Manager at WebpageFX, an ad agency in Pennsylvania. WebpageFX was named as one of the 75 Best Places to Work for Millennials in America in 2015, and a large percentage of its staff is part of the millennial generation. The company considers tech-savviness to be one of millennials’ greatest strengths — and they company know a thing or two about hiring millennials.
“For us, millennials’ familiarity with technology makes them ideal job candidates,” Jones says. “Being a highly technical company, we love millennials’ knowledge of popular apps, digital trends, social media and internet slang. That’s not to say that older job applicants don’t bring their own valuable skills to the table; we just find that millennials are able to come into our industry and really hit the ground running, which is important to us.”
They Understand the Value of Branding
Some millennials have the qualities necessary to become great leaders. Regardless of if they seize opportunities to take leadership roles or prefer contributing to the workplace in other ways, they’re aware of how important it is to have polished personal brands.
Many millennials spend hours per week curating the content on their social media profiles, making sure that they present a positive, professional image of themselves and taking the time to ensure that every word of their status updates is perfect. How does this translate to the workplace? These traits of millennials make them ideal ambassadors for their employers and the respective brands.
They’re already used to showcasing an individual brand so promoting their employer’s brand comes naturally. It’s not much of a leap to ask them to act as workplace representatives even when they’re not on the clock.
They Appreciate High-Trust, Enjoyable Work Cultures
As it turns out, trustworthiness is crucial to millennials too. They’re more likely to stay with companies that trust them, especially if they notice the company’s leaders inspire trust through their actions.
Furthermore, millennials who think they work at great places are 20 times more likely to stay at those jobs than people from the same generations who don’t feel so positive about their jobs. That means that companies that invest heavily in their employees and actively create a culture that makes people genuinely love to come to — and stay at — work should have no trouble attracting millennials and making the investments pay off.
This is just a sampling of things that may go against what you’ve heard about the millennial generation. I, for one, am tired of the stigma around my generation! People from this age group have plenty to offer to the world and the workplace.