Ah, the Millennial generation. The children that Baby Boomers and Gen X birthed, the now-adults that are defined by their childhood of technology addiction. By now, the Millennials have begun their careers and companies are-or ought to start- learning how to communicate and work with them.
I am a Millennial with a creative undergraduate degree and currently still trying to figure my career out. Unfortunately, I am apart of the majority in this situation. Older generations seem to misjudge us, often thinking we are all privileged. We live with our parents longer, the majority has some form of higher education, we all try and pursue our dreams and passions rather than take the humble job in front of us. The misunderstanding however, is what the high school degree is to the baby boomers, the undergraduate degree is to the Millennials. And lets face it, college didn’t get cheaper and our first job in our career field is an unpaid internship.
We the Millennials want to work and must work. It’s crucial that that previous generations and Millennials have a mutual understanding of how each other work. Instead of judging, let’s use the differences to maximize productivity. Allow me to give a little insight of how we work and what our expectations are. Here are four ways to to make communicating with us a little easier.
Make it Interesting. Millennials are unimpressed with old school tactics and linear learning. We’ll hardly glance at a giant employment packet and we won’t retain more than half the information in a classic monotone presentation. Our attention is captivated and kept with creative and engaging concepts. When Millennials are curious or excited about something, they want to be apart of it. Give us visuals, interaction, personality, and humor. Millennials love memes, emojis, and videos. We’re visual learners so interactive tools, graphics, and color helps. The moment we see thick blocks of texts and multiple pages of it, we’re bored and frustrated. We understand that we are expected to do our jobs and do it well. Quirky conversations make it a lot easier to get through it.
Don’t Sugarcoat. We never want to get to the point where we have to ask, “What’s the catch?” That means we were fed a too-good-to-be-true scenario and are thought to be gullible enough to agree to it. Technology has given Millennials multiple platforms to search information. We prefer simple and straight to the point information and everything else is a waste of time.
Make it Personal. Millennials want to feel noticed. It’s insulting and underwhelming if your boss and other coworkers don’t know your name, or any fun and personal facts about you. We want to feel appreciated. A simple “good job” or “thank you” for what we’ve done does just that. We enjoy being apart of a community and work on projects as a team. We want to surround ourselves with like-minded, fun, and social people. Working takes up 30% of our lives. We want to work somewhere that we can say we love what our company stands for, and that we love our job.
Provide Flexible Options. Within an hour, our eyes and minds may have gone to 27 websites for 15 different subjects. Because we grew up with so much technology, we see no problem in communicating on different platforms. Is it really necessary for an in-person meeting when we can answer a conference call from bed or FaceTime with our boss and coworkers at our kitchen table?
Overall, Millennials are not privileged and self-entitled people. We grew up in a world of information and technology. We are expected to get a college degree in a field we love, be good at it, and prosper for ourselves, our company, and for our family. With less time criticizing Millennials and more time engaging, we can maximize our company culture. If we are engaged in our work and feel appreciated, we will do just about anything to make sure your company is at its full potential.