Millennials. We all know who they are and what they can do. The generation of kids who grew up in the technology age have made sure that the rest of the world heard what they had to say.
Before the end of 2015, it was made official that the generation born between 1980 and 1995 comprised the largest percentage of the workforce. It’s probable that your next set of hires, sans the executive positions, will be applied for and filled by millennials. While these youngins’ and their mastery of technology and affair with innovation are generally positive influences to society, they’ve also caused some major disruptions to the status quo.
Millennials are ruining the workplace that you knew and loved. They are doing it as a collective force and they’re not going to be discreet about it.
They are interested but impatient
If you’ve ever had millennials in your roster of employees, you will have noticed that their presence fluctuates. These young people have made a habit of job hopping, sticking around for one or two years then moving on to the next opportunity. Millennials are the sponge generation; they like to learn and when they feel like they’ve absorbed as much as they can from you, they will leave.
Boomers and Gen Xers shouldn’t be too hard on them though. Whether it’s 1960 or 2016, it’s rare for anyone to stay at their first job long enough to get tenure. For millennials, they grew up with access to information and resources quite literally at their fingertips. They are interested in a dozen different things at the same time and intend to pursue them all before they hit 30.
The concept of hierarchy is dead to them
To older generations, success stories were those of Oprah Winfrey, Ben Franklin, and John Rockerfeller—people who built their roads to success with their hands. Millennial fairy tales are about the young Davids who slayed old, outdated Goliath: Mark Zuckerberg, Taylor Swift, and Garret Camp.
The idea that “you must be this old to ride” is a foreign one to them. Millennials believe that as long as you can do, you have the right to. They have wiggled their way up the ranks and achieved an alarming level of comfortability with the head honchos and so they are not afraid to challenge authority. The fight for equality has transcended the realm of gender and become a front page issue in all aspects of society.
They’re delaying the transition of leadership
While they can’t demand positions of leadership (to which some millennials respond to by starting their own businesses), they have managed to find a way to stir the pot anyway. Boomers, who are all about work, are retiring and given Gen X’s focus on work-life balance, they will not take on more on their plates until they think that millennials can manage on their own.
Older generations function best when there is order and when there isn’t any, it’s unnerving. Unfortunately, millennials don’t share this need. They are as unstructured as it gets and their microscopic attention spans don’t help in the least. To millennials, innovation is a science, language, and way of life. Imagine a trusty ball point pen—it’s simple and usable. If a millennial wakes up one morning with a brilliant idea to enhance the pen by using environment friendly plastic or e-ink or what have you, they will drop everything and focus their time and energy on innovating the concept of the meager ballpoint pen.
They are everything you never thought you’d have to deal with
There are just so many of them. Even if we don’t agree with what they do, we are often forced to adapt. To them, that isn’t a big deal because they are already innately adaptable because of the erratic and ever-changing environment they have created for themselves (and us). Millennials are the not-so-silent dictators of this society and they are only just beginning. Think of when it’s their turn to be the CEOs and VPs of the companies that control the world.
When parents first held their newborns in the 80’s and 90’s, none of them could have seen the iPad, emojis, Netflix, or the obsession with kale coming.