Pros & Cons: How Millennials are Transforming the Workplace

10 thousand baby boomers are retiring each day, thus making more room for millennials. Millennials are transforming the workforce and have created a distinctive, noticeable shift in a business’ operations. Their new and innovative ideas constantly have an impact on any business and, essentially, create success. So, let’s understand what it is about millennials that help drive a company’s success.

1. Greener and Cleaner

From elementary school all the way to college, millennials were consistently learning about creating a greener environment everywhere they go. Whether it was school projects or enforcing the 3 R’s (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle), they were always around this idea. So, being brought up with this and incorporating sustainability into their daily lives, millennials care about their environment. And, they certainly want to take that with them in the workforce. There was a nationwide survey conducted by the MIT AgeLab regarding how millennials perceive their environmental attitudes and behaviors. They found that millennials are 49.4% more likely to protect the environment and are 59.1% more concerned about protecting the environment compared to people in their 60s. Typically, organizations that practice and encourage sustainability will appeal to millennials and this can create a different approach for the company. And, let’s face it- sustainability is a significant approach to take at any company since it appeals to many people.

2. Social Media Experts

Social media has changed the way we operate businesses and it’s constantly growing. There are 3.2 billion social media users worldwide, which is about 42% of the population. With that, the daily usage of social media is 90.4% for millennials. So, we ALL know that the younger generations are constantly on their phones using social media. As much as this might sound like a bad thing… well, it’s not (at least when it comes to working). Social media is the best way to spread the word about a company and what’s a better way to do it then have the millennials, who constantly use social media all the time, to be in charge of this? They see on their phones the type of posts that companies create and just what gets you hooked, so they already have a clear understanding for how to create an engaging post that will help drive the company’s success. In fact, 73% of marketers believe that social media marketing has been “somewhat effective” or “very effective” for their business. 

3. Technologically savvy & resourceful

Millennials not only are resourceful with social media, but they grew up with technology advancing and pretty much know everything about it. We can all agree that if anyone has a question about how to use a technological feature, we go to millennials. AND, even if they don’t know how to operate something, they still manage to have the patience to figure it out. Their ability to figure out new technological tools and use them properly is impressive and this is ultimately one of their greatest strengths. They also know how to resourcefully use the internet and are learning all the time. 82% of HR professionals think that Generation Y employees are much faster at completing tasks using mobile devices and technological tools. Millennials have a mindset of wanting to learn and grow continuously and one of the ways they do this is through technology.

4. Collaborative

Throughout their years at school, millennials were always taught to work together and participate in group projects. They were basically forced to work as a team at times and this created them to be experts when it comes to working with others. They know how to divide and conquer and communicate well with their group members. Being a millennial myself, I can say that regularly working as a team allows you to consider multiple opinions and helps to generate ideas that you wouldn’t normally think of on your own. It is noted that 75% of employees rate teamwork and collaboration as “very important.” With this being said, millennials bring this into the workforce and almost make it easy to collaborate with and can generate new ideas that will be successful in your company.

5. They want to find a purpose

Millennials are always driven toward success and they will do anything they can to find a purpose. 

“Most workers, many of whom are millennials … want their work to have meaning and purpose. They want to learn and develop. They want their job to fit their life.”

And this is absolutely true. Most millennials go into work determined and ready to use their strengths in order to accomplish what they need to do for the day. Being that they are new in the workforce, they are going to want to make sure that they find a career that best fits them and brings out their greatest strengths. To do that, they will go the extra mile at work and do everything they can to try and find their passion. So, instead of clocking in at 9 AM and doing the bare minimum until it’s time to leave, millennials will put 110% effort into everything they do. They go into work with expectations of learning something new and potentially carrying that with them for their future. Finding passion in a career is important to each of us, but especially when you’re young and just entering into the workforce.

With the advantages, always comes the disadvantages. So, here’s a few cons to consider whenever hiring a millennial:

1. Lacking interpersonal skills

This may not apply to everyone, but it has been recognized that millennials do not have the best interpersonal skills. Being that they are predominantly on their smartphones, it is clear that they “prefer text-based forms of communication over voice-based forms.” Millennials grew up with technology and have become very comfortable with texting and emailing. An interesting concept to this is that it allows them to take their time gathering their thoughts and wording everything properly, therefore making it a more comfortable process. Although text-based communication is useful at times, it is not always the best way to communicate and it is important for millennials to have a good balance between the two.

“About 74%of millennials communicate digitally more frequently with others.”

2. Too technologically savvy 

Ever wonder why millennials bring their phones with them everywhere they go? Their whole life is practically on their smartphones- social media accounts, text messages, emails, personal notes. Because of this, many people say that they are glued to their phones and can’t live without it. This is somewhat true and millennials will tend to bring their smartphones with them wherever they go. Millennials check their phones 150 times per day… and this becomes their number one distraction. They will see notifications pop up on their phones and will be tempted to check it right away, causing them to multitask.

3. Multitasking

As mentioned in the last paragraph, the distraction of their smartphones leads to multitasking, which then leads to reduced performance. Besides checking their phones constantly, millennials grew up with technology that provided them with instant information on demand. Because of this, they are able to work and think fast, which then causes them to accomplish many things at once and work as fast as possible. Multitasking may sound like a great concept to getting everything done, but it actually can reduce productivity by as much as 40%!

4. Want balanced lives

Let’s face it- millennials are picky with their lives and they want to live it just as they envision it. After graduating from college and entering the workforce, they certainly have exactly what they want in mind. Growing up, they would constantly see their parents, or one of their parents, working all day and not coming home until late. Seeing this, and the way that many others are excessively working, encourages millennials to want to have a balanced life. They want time to focus on their lives outside of work- relationships, kids, hobbies, health. After all, they already have experienced this balance in college or at home. So, they are not going to want to replace that. 

5. Overconfidence

Millennials tend to think that they know everything. Because they are new in the workforce, they want to set themselves up for success and with that, comes confidence. But, sometimes too much confidence. With easy access to the internet all the time, this makes millennials exhibit an excessive amount of confidence. They know that they can reach the internet whenever they need to, so they tend to think that they actually “know” everything, which can be very irritating to their bosses and employees. In a Millennial Survey, 34% of 271 responses exhibited overconfidence and a “know-it-all” attitude. So, clearly overconfidence isn’t an issue with all millennials, but it’s definitely a quality that seems to be occurring with these younger generations entering into the workforce.