Millennial are not just the buzzword in the working world at the moment – half of them are the working world. That’s right, 50% of the workforce were born between 1981 and 1996, the officially recognised definition of the Millennial generation. Technically they are not even the emerging generation anymore, that honour falls to Generation Z (1997-2012) but quantity has a quality all of its own and you will probably be managing, working with and perhaps working for a millennial.
Like every generation before and after them, they are very easy to stereotype, misconceptualise or misunderstand. Frequently categorised as overly idealistic, lazy, entitled and flighty – no doubt some individuals are but you would be making a mistake to categorise everybody on a few generalised traits.
Let’s dispel one of these right away, milennials are not lazy. They are part of an increasingly competitive school cohort that had to get higher GCSE and A Level grades to get into the best university courses and then have to compete to get the best jobs using these degrees. A lot of companies are looking for outside experience and volunteer activities to appoint more rounded candidates, so they have had to do a lot of extra curricular work to make their CV stand out from their peers already.
So given they are already committed, passionate and idealistic about their ambitions, a surprising finding by the Harvard Business Review recently found that out of all the working age groups, 59% of milennials were most likely to feel ashamed when planning or taking a holiday – more than any other group. The next highest was 41% which was the 35 and over group. Why is this?
Thomas Chamorro-Premuzic writing in the Guardian found that in the 1950s, 12% of senior school age students perceived themselves as an “important person”. That figure had risen to “80%” by the 1990s. Given this and another HBR finding that found a majority of milennials said “No one else at my company can do my job while I’m away.” This flies in the face of conventional wisdom as most older workers would expect younger people to be less indispensable at the beginning of their careers at any rate.”
So a key way to motivate a Millennial is to speak specifically to them, not just to the group or department. Stress how they are going to be affected, what you need them to do and how they can benefit.
They also tend to wear their hearts on their sleeves and are the most heart led generation. They grew up when no reality TV show can finish without one of the contestants in tears – happy or sad is immaterial – it’s the public emotion that is the key factor.
Be open with them and straight. “Lemme be real” might be Kanye and Kim Kardashian’s catchphrase but it’s also the motto for a generation.
This is also a mobile first generation – not just physically but technologically. This generation is the first not to know a world before the Internet and the Smartphone is their device of choice for communicating with their friends and customers. Equally at home voice chatting, texting or live streaming with video, there’s a reason why many universities are no longer issuing students with an email address – they consider it passé.
Now you understand how milennials and mobility are transforming the workplace why not harness their born desire to communicate? by giving them the tools for the job.
Gamma Mobile is a service exclusively built for business but robust enough to handle all the data hungry apps. With access to the biggest and most reliable UK data network, 4G as standard and a focus on customer service, Gamma Mobile is the perfect choice for business or pleasure – not that a millennial would differentiate anyway.