Millennials or Generation Y are folks born between 1980 and 1994.
But...geez this bunch cops a great deal of criticism as a workforce from just about every employer I know.
Unflattering terms like lazy, entitled or disloyal are often words spoken by business owners who have employed Millennials.
Whilst there is no doubt Millennials, like each generation, are totally different, I believe these terms more reflect the fact that employers simply haven't merely adjusted how they manage their workforce over time and don't understand them.
More importantly, as business owners, there is no point complaining as Millennials will make up over half of the manpower by 2050.
So you may be able to avoid hiring them in 2019 however in years to come, you will have no more choice.
So let us check out some of the biggest stigmas of Millennials as employees.
When Time Magazine published an article in 2013 Millennials: The Me Me Me Generation by American journalist Joel Stein, it caused quite the stir. Time even put the article on its cover, a nice way to sell magazines through the uproar.
Joel didn't mince his words calling Millennials a word but LAZY was perhaps his central theme throughout the article.
So what's the reality of Joel's comments?
In my view, sure Millennials can be lazy. But, in my experience, so can most generations of employees.
The fact is that Millennials see work differently from previous generations.
They grew up with books like The 4 Hour Workweek and movements like The Minimalists, both which encourage their young audience to focus on being efficient and focus on enjoying life.
So whilst millennials can be lazy, careful you don't judge them for slacking off when perhaps they are working smartly. It may be the case.
Ouch. No one likes to be called entitled but this is another common term to describe Millennials.
Employers often have the view that this generation has expectations of their employment that is simply too high, especially when they are just starting and well....should be just grateful to have a paycheck.
But, in my view, the truth is rather than entitlement, Millennials are not willing to settle for mediocre careers – they’re working hard to find work that they are passionate, even if it means doing a boring job on the side.
As employers, we may not like this fact, but to keep Millennials engaged, we need to make their job satisfying if nothing else. This includes opportunities to grow, learn and feel like they are making a difference.
Again....fairly the harsh stigma that Millennials cop.
So what do employers mean when they use the term disloyal? Usually, it means they are job hoppers, regularly changing employment.
So what is true is that the Deloitte: 2018 Millennial Survey clearly showed two out of three millennials were planning to leave their current employer in the next 12 months.
However, global research on job tenure also shows that this desire to change jobs is the same for people in their 20's today as in the 1980s.
The reality is, young people, starting in the workforce are still learning what they want to do with their lives and so are much more open to trying different jobs on their quest.
This makes the "compulsive job hopper" label true for all recent generations in their 20's, not just Millennials.
So there you have it. Fact from fiction.
Millennials are undoubtedly unique and come with a new set of challenges for managers, but this has been true for every generation in history.
Who knows what will happen with the Generation Z group who will be joining the workforce shortly. They are likely to shake things up even more!
My advice is that if you try to understand, embrace and be open to being flexible in your management style and you will find that Millennials can be some of your best employees.
Founder and CEO