By 2025, Millennials in the workplace will make up 75% of all workers worldwide. It’s not an exaggeration to say that Millennials are taking over, and that has a lot of baby boomers and Gen Xers concerned. Some of the more cynical elders in our midst tend to decry Millennials as disrespectful, unmotivated, and too idealistic. Interestingly, these Millennial misconceptions are far from new.
“I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on the frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond words.” That was said by the philosopher Hesiod in the eighth century BC. Socrates said, “The children now love luxury; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are tyrants, not servants of the household. They no longer rise when their elders enter the room.” (See other similar quotes here.)
In other words, if you’re one of those people who longs for the good old days, it’s quite likely that your parents and their parents did exactly the same.
Letting Go of the Myths
Perhaps it’s time to set aside long-standing Millennial myths and look at the facts. 41% of millennials do what their managers tell them, which is a higher percentage than older generations. 92% believe that a business’s success should be measured by more than profit. They have the same level of organizational commitment as older generations, and 84% feel that making a positive difference in the world is more important than professional recognition.
Like the generations before them, Millennials want to feel that the work they do is important, and they want to be passionate about it. When they look for jobs, they don’t look for things that will just make them money but for work they can make a career out of. Employers should take note of this perspective and look for ways to help Millennials and their older co-workers find the meaning and purpose that they seek.
By looking for applicants who feel strongly about the mission of your business and its goals, you can help ensure that the people you hire will stick with you through thick and thin, regardless of age, gender, or rank. The first step is to ensure that your business has a solid strategic plan and corporate vision in place. Then you can use new hire assessments to look for individuals who respect your plan and want to be a part of its implementation.