I enjoy avocado toast, use Twitter as my source of news, and can text fast using only my thumbs. What am I? A Millennial.
Millennials are the generation born between 1981-1996. We can be defined in various ways—we love avocado toast, and we know every social media platform there is (we even invented a few of them). However, here is my favorite way to define Millennials: the largest segment of today’s US workforce. By 2025, Millennials will make up 75% of the US workforce.
As the majority of the workforce, business leaders are interested to know what impact this has within their companies. The question I hear often is this: “Can Millennials manage?” We are so different than other generations. Can we become great managers and hold leadership roles? Can we continue company growth?
The answer is “Yes,” and here are just a few reasons why:
FOMO = Fear of Missing Out
FOMO is anxiety created when an individual knows there is an exciting event occurring elsewhere and they are not there to experience it. Millennials coined this term because we often post our lives on social media and need a way to define what we feel when we see our friends on Instagram having fun without us.
How does this relate to the workplace? Millennials do not like FOMO. We want to experience and be involved in as much as we can—from social events, like employee happy hours, to business-related discussions on company growth and new initiatives. When you get Millennials engaged, you’ll see employees personally investing in the company, which improves their performance, morale, and longevity.
When you get Millennials engaged, you’ll see employees personally investing in the company, which improves their performance, morale, and longevity.
Participation Trophy = Team Player
Millennials grew up receiving participation trophies. We may not have won first place, but our efforts did not go unrecognized. Now that Millennials are adults, we carry this lesson with us, and it translates into a few managerial traits. We are team players. We involve everyone, expect participation from all, and work well together. Most importantly, Millennials recognize others’ efforts. These are the kinds of traits that create a positive work environment.
Tech Generation = Digital Natives
Millennials are the first generation to grow up with technology, and we love it. We are master users of the smartphone along with many other IT devices. We are advocates of the latest and greatest technology. This means we are prepared to continue leading companies through the digital age and are more open to IT initiatives and projects than any other generation. We are more knowledgeable of the negative impacts to companies when they do not embrace technology. Involve your Millennial workforce in your company’s key digital initiatives so that they can continue to lead years into the future.
As a manager, I can tell you that the traits mentioned above are the traits I wish to see in my team and coworkers and I’m sure many other managers do, too. As a Millennial, I can also tell you that we are everywhere. We are embedded in each and every industry and we are ready for the next chapters in our careers. We have the generational experiences and the characteristics to manage and lead. When you combine that with a company that will embrace our generational traits, it results in a brighter future for us all.