There are a lot of conflicting opinions about millennials and how they are impacting the workplace. Some people have the opinion that millennials are lazy, while others believe that millennials are all technologically savvy and would feel more at home behind a screen than in the business spotlight. As millennials are starting to overtake the older generations as the dominant demographic in the workforce, it is time for businesses large and small to shed their preconceived notions about what millennials are or are not like. The best way to incorporate millennials in the workforce is to understand them as a group.
It is important to recognize that millennials are not just younger than the rest of the workforce; they actually think differently than older employees. Born in an era of technology, millennials grew up using computers and multitasking. As more and more multitasking becomes expected in the workplace, it is crucial to take a look at how multitasking is changing our brains. Millennials are used to the fast-paced world of technology, and they usually come to the table as good multitaskers. But studies show that multitasking actually diminishes creative problem solving. When multitasking, employees of all ages prioritize speed and efficiency over quality and substance, and this results in an awful lot of relying on past methods of executing tasks.
To best incorporate millennials into the workforce, we must keep in mind that our emphasis on multitasking has a negative impact on creative output. Certain tasks are best completed the same way every time, but other tasks require more creative approaches. These creative approaches must be nurtured as more and more millennials join the workforce, not because millennials themselves need nurturing, but because the tendency of business is to reward task completion rather than the quality of work output.
Almost paradoxically, millennials have a very entrepreneurial spirit, and they prefer to fuel their own personal and professional growth, even if it means changing the company they work for. By encouraging millennials to take on new challenges, you will demonstrate to them that your company values their capabilities and wants to invest in their continued development. This in turn promotes retention of millennial employees and also boosts workplace morale overall.
There are some notions of millennials needing extra attention and hand-holding as they enter the workforce, but this is not really true. Yes, they want reinforcement as they enter onto their career path. But it is not so much that they need extra attention as they crave frequent feedback on how to continue to improve and grow. By simply touching base with your millennial employees, you can hone their work output, increase company efficiency, and successfully incorporate them into your workforce.