Stereotyping Millennials was so 2011


Millennials have persistently been stereotyped as an entitled and lazy generation with no real goals or ambitions. Article after article has flooded the interwebs about “how to attract a Millennial workforce” and “how to succeed with Millennials in the office.”

The problem with this stereotype is that by 2015 (which is less than 60 days away) 33% of our current workforce—including 48% of our supervisors—will be eligible to retire. This statistic is alarming for organizations still stereotyping the Millennial worker. It’s time to get past the stereotypes and start embracing this generation as our future business leaders.

A recent survey from Universum Global set out to break some of the misconceptions about Millennials. As an employer or HR practitioner it’s important to understand that the stereotype behind this workforce is, for the most part, false. Far from being entitled and lazy, Millennial workers will help you grow your company.

Here are some of the statistics that break the stereotype behind Millennials in today’s workplace:

  • 80% believe in working smarter, not harder. Millennials will put in the work that’s necessary to perform the job, but they’re looking for smart, time-saving, and effective ways to do it. What’s wrong with that?
  • Millennials focus on employability and lifelong learning. Millennials have been described as “job hoppers” who will go from job to job until they find something that’s to their liking. This survey revealed that’s actually not the case for the majority of Millennials. Their focus on employability and lifelong learning means they’ll most likely happily stay in one job so long as they’re being developed.
  • 65% understand retirement will hit when they’re 60 years old or above. We’ve all heard the stereotype about the Millennial who thinks he’ll be VP by age 25 and retire at 30 with a million dollars in the bank. In truth, the majority of Millennials are afraid they won’t retire by the time they’re 60. Most even think retirement will hit them well beyond 60 years old.
  • 41% are interested in leadership. Some think that Millennials want to go to work, do their job, and go home, but in fact a large number of Millennials would like to move up in the ranks. This statistic supersedes the “lazy and entitled” label that plagues Millennials.

Stereotyping Millennials won’t do your organization any good.

However, understanding this generation will allow you to better recruit and manage talent. Most of the Millennials surveyed were born between 1984 and 1996, meaning that by 2020 more than 50% of the workforce will be part of this generation. Doing your part to work with Millennials instead of against them will give you the ability to connect and develop candidates and employees for your workplace.

Learn the ins and outs of paying a multi-generational workforce with this PayScale whitepaper: Comp Challenges for a Multi-Generational Workforce

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  1. 1
    Carmine D.

    There is a vast pool of experienced individuals who have not forgotten how to work harder and starter. Many of these individuals are still active in the work force today and are able to be successful if given the opportunity.
    Today’s technology has provided all of us with the tools to be successful. All that is needed is the will, the desire and the passion to continue to do your best, share our experiences and learn as we grow.
    There is no silver bullet.

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