According to Catalyst, a nonprofit organization with a mission to creating diverse workplaces, Millennials will cover 50% of the global workforce by 2020. As of 2015, Millennials have become the largest generation in the American labor force, comprising 35%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Their characteristics are unique considering they are the first digital natives, which shapes their behaviors, lifestyles, priorities, and needs. In the workplace, they make excellent employees, despite the myths surrounding them.
This article will discuss Millennials’ characteristics, myths and realities, and career preferences in light of better understanding of their training needs.
In a nutshell, Millennials are technologically savvy, the most educated generation to date, environmentally conscious, confident, team-oriented (crowdworking), achievement-oriented, civic-minded, positive (feel special), entrepreneurial, results-oriented, global citizens (no geographical limitations, globe-trekkers), authentic, frugal, compassionate, progressive, and safety-minded.
According to the Urban Institute at Princeton University, Millennials’ marriage and fertility rates are lower than previous generations. For instance, in 2012 there were only 948 births per 1,000 Millennial women in their 20s.
Myths surround Millennials, but the research by Catalyst showed that the realities are different. One important thing to note from the findings is that more than one-half of female Millennials feel that the workplace is not yet equal for both genders, regardless of diverse work environments and individual support for gender equality.
Myth: Millennials demand praise and frequent pay raises.
Fact: They want career growth, and 82 percent think that 3 years in the same position is acceptable.
Myth: Millennials are impatient and hop from job to job.
Fact: They manage their careers using internal and external strategies.
Myth: Millennials want to advance without putting in many hours.
Fact: They are results-oriented, thus the results should speak for themselves.
Myth: Millennials need plenty of direction on the job.
Fact: They want some control over their assignments.
Myth: Millennials believe there is sufficient gender equality at the workplace.
Fact: More than one-half of female Millennials believe that they have not been treated equally.
So, what do Millennials want from their careers? According to a survey by Pew Research, more than one-half of them prefer not working at all to working in jobs that they do not like. In a study involving 150,000 graduating college students, Experience, Inc. research firm finds what Millennials prefer in a job: opportunities for career advancement (55 percent), salary (52 percent), interesting and challenging work (42 percent), benefits (30 percent), and training or mentorship (27 percent).
Those facts and research findings speak loudly about how corporations must treat their Millennial employees. Lastly, the management and the training departments must be aware of Millennials’ strong preferences in results and merit orientations, fair treatment, teamwork, positive environment, learning and career opportunities, and freedom to network outside the workplace.