This is a guest post by Allie Graves, our Office and Events Coordinator here at Classy.
There are hundreds of articles online about the stereotypes that older generations give millennials. Instead of trying to defend my generation by telling you how unfair these generalizations are, I’m here to tell you that while we do possess a lot of these characteristics, they might actually be what makes us better employees. Hiring a millennial could become the reason why your organization is so successful.
How so, you ask?
We’re Confident in Ourselves, Which Allows Us to Be Confident in Your Brand
One of the most common generalizations about millennials is that we’re spoiled and entitled. I truly believe that I was hired because of who I am and everything I’ve done that helped me get here. There may be hundreds of people that fit the criteria for my job, but I know I rightfully earned my position at my company. Having faith in the work I do doesn’t mean that I’m entitled; it just means that I trust myself and know that I can do a great job and get my work done.
This confidence that millennials have might sometimes be confused as entitlement. But as an employer, you need to hire people who are confident in themselves. How else can you expect them to be confident in your brand when they’re selling your product or asking for donations? We are not entitled to certain things as millennials, but we are entitled to be our best selves for our own sake as well as for our company.
We Contribute to the Positive Work Environment That Allows Your Company to Be Successful
I think some people should rethink this “millennials have a ‘everyone gets a trophy’ mentality.” That trophy I received on my little league softball team for “most improved” really had no impact in shaping my career. For the most part, if you feel like someone did a great job and deserves recognition, you should give it. Wouldn’t you rather work in a place that allows recognition to be shown for great work than worry that there’s too much recognition going around? If someone rightfully deserves praise, they should receive it in some fashion.
A number of studies indicate that when you support your colleagues and work to create a happier environment, it increases productivity. And the best part—giving recognition or a pat on the back is free! While financial incentives are also important for recognizing talent and success, keep in mind that recognition is a cost effective way to show your support for your employees and boost morale.
We’re Constantly Learning and We Use Our Time Wisely
A lot of people think millennials are lazy.
I beg to differ. Here’s why. We live in a time where the work force is so impacted that we constantly have to push ourselves to make sure we’re indispensable. College degrees are the new standard and everyone seems to have skills that are just as good as yours, if not better. Whether we learn new traits to differentiate ourselves, get a hand in every project possible, or work late to show our commitment, we constantly seek to show that we are an invaluable asset to our company.
Technology plays a large part in our continuous learning. There are always new skills we should be mastering or a new app we need to figure out how to use. We work to keep up with new technology and what’s hot so that we are in the know, and therefore, can raise awareness for our brands using the right outlets.
While we do have apps that bring food right to our door, or wait in line for us when we don’t have time, this isn’t us being lazy or trying to cut corners. It’s us being more effective with our time and using it for what we truly consider important. As an employer, having time-conscious and efficient employees is a must.
We Get Our Stuff Done
We millennials need our freedom. Part of what I love about my job is not necessarily the freedom my manager gives me, but that she trusts that I will get done what I’m assigned. We know that the job market is crazy and that if we don’t perform well that there’s a line of people waiting to get our jobs. This causes us to keep constant checks on ourselves to make sure we’re doing a great job, which ultimately allows your organization to look good, too. Keep in mind that when managers show faith in their employee’s ability to succeed, it can actually motivate them more than constant hand-holding and micromanaging would. I personally feel like the less over-the-shoulder checks I have on me, the harder I want to work for myself and my boss.
We Won’t Settle Unless We’re Truly Happy
When I interviewed at Classy, the CEO asked me why I’ve bopped around to three different jobs in six years. I was completely honest with him and let him know that if I’m not happy somewhere, or if I don’t see a future where I’m at, I feel I’m doing a disservice to everyone if I stick around.
While I do believe that it’s important to be loyal to a company, it’s most important for people to be loyal to themselves. Organizations shouldn’t fault a potential hire who has demonstrated the ability to recognize when a position does not align with their goals and core values. If anything, millennials don’t “skip around,” they work hard to find a position with a strong cultural fit. You can help this process and keep the millennials you hire at your organization by working to only take on individuals who not only have the appropriate skill set, but who also have career goals and key characteristics that are aligned with your company.
Millennials are a generation of innovative people who learn to adapt to the different requirements of jobs and who find ways to become indispensable to companies. We’re getting a grasp of who we are, discovering what we’re good at, and running with it. The next time you consider hiring a millennial, remember their side of the story and recognize the traits that make them incredible employees and embrace them with open arms. Your organization will thank you for it.