Any organization that wants to be successful already knows that effectively working with Millennial’s is not an option. It simply must be done. What they may not realize is that expecting Millennial’s to do things the old way is also not an option. Why? Millennial’s have strength in numbers, and they know it.
According to a recent Pew Research Center report, in 2019, Millennial’s will likely become the largest generation of Americans living today.
With 71 million members now and more immigrant Millennial’s moving in, Millennial’s will surpass the Baby Boomers’ 74 million members, especially as the oldest Boomers continue to pass away. And, for what it’s worth, Millennial’s have nearly always dwarfed Generation X’s 65 million.
With numbers like that, it makes much more sense for older generations to adopt some Millennial’s traits than to expect the Millennial’s to surrender their preferences in deference to tradition.
Also? Not all of what makes Millennial’s different is bad.
The communication methods that worked well, or at least adequately, with previous generations are not as effective with Millennial employees because of the different expectations Millennial’s have for work and life. Millennial’s are motivated by mentoring, opportunities for growth and rapid advancement, and they also desire a greater work-life balance than previous generations.
Also, you’re not imagining things: The Millennial’s on your staff probably really do prefer text messages to phone calls. While that’s likely to annoy a supervisor whose first instinct is to pick up the phone, when you need to implement new software those Millennial’s will be your early adopters. They’re far more likely to rely on technology and web-based communication platforms than older workers.
We’ll dive even deeper into specific ways managers can smooth tensions and inspire multi-generational workplaces in the next post in this series.