May 14, 2019

Let’s talk About Millennials

About a year ago I was asked to serve on a panel for a Human Resource conference at Nazareth College. Various HR professionals from around Rochester came to this conference hoping to stay up to date with the latest changes and trends. Why me? When I got there, I quickly realized it was a panel full of Millennials. What was the objective? To let HR professionals from around the Rochester community ask us questions about what we would want to see in an office environment, in a career or an ideal manager. I found this to be refreshing but also a little intimidating.

In July of 2018, Forbes stated that by 2025, 75% of the workplace will be made up of Millennials. As I sat there, I realized that the workplace practices have began to shift, and some HR professionals are having a hard time navigating. They needed our help. So, what came out of this panel? We discussed four common trends and feedback as to what we believe would make the average Millennial “happy.”

Consistent Feedback

It became clear from the questions we were asked that some managers see millennials as children who need constant reinforcement. However, I heard from the panel that we like to know how we are doing and how we can become better. What can we do to further our knowledge? Or, what changes can we make to become more efficient and productive. As Forbes stated, we come from a world where everything is graded and available for the public to see. We see this in schools and in social media, and we are used to being recognized for accomplishments and our failures, to us, the workplace should be no different.

Millennials are always on the go. We are constantly on our phones and working in non-traditional settings. Having flexibility to work different hours or occasionally work remote allows us to feel appreciated and keeps us from burning out. We are looking for a company with a good, flexible culture that will allow us to flourish.

A Clear Path to Career Success
We are eager to learn and achieve new goals. We enjoy having a clear path, so we know what milestones we need to hit to get to the next level, and ultimately our ideal position. We need to increase our knowledge by learning something new and through being challenged, or we get bored. Without variety, we may start to look for a new opportunity that will be more engaging.

Opportunities to Give Back to the Community
We like to give back to our community by either donating or getting involved. Sponsor a day to allow others to give back. This will not just benefit your Millennials, but will benefit others in the company who feel the same way.

Even though I was intimated by the thought of serving on a panel in front of a room full of HR Leaders, I appreciated being involved which is also a common trait amongst Millennials. We like to be involved!

So, what is the point? Millennials are setting the pace for future generations who will be entering the workforce. We are technologically savvy, hungry for success, and driven by feedback. Employers can get more out of Millennials through understanding and embracing the four common trends we discussed. It is true, Millennials do need to learn to adapt to changing environments. So do employers. We want to share our stories and knowledge, so let us help foster change for the future.

By Aly Raco

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