3 Ways Millennials are Changing the Workplace

Millennials continue to get a bad rap in the workplace, although it would seem, the times they are a changin.’

Millennials recently overtook Gen Xers to become the largest generation in the U.S. labor force. With this shift comes change. Millennials are moving the work force away from the way it has traditionally operated.

Here are just a few ways millennials are changing the work force -

1. Connectivity.

Millennials love to stay connected — whether it be Zoom, Slack, email, texts, or some other form of keeping in touch. Most millennials find a way to stay connected to family, friends — and yes — co-workers. I personally use all forms of communication listed above and it helps my productivity level go up, up, up!

Pros:

Clock-watching is becoming a thing of the past. By constantly being available, you are able to respond to people very quickly and increase your work output — whether or not you are in the office. This means the traditional shift of nine to five could conceivably disappear.

Cons:

Work-life balance may suffer. This is especially true if, like me, you work remotely part of the time. I have had to make a rule that I will turn my computer off by 6:30 pm every night — without fail — and only check email once more during the evening. Disclaimer: I follow my rule about 50% of the time.

Also, this is not an option for all positions or industries. Can an air traffic controller control traffic from email? No. While millennials are changing the way employers think about shift-work not all industries can adapt the new “work from where you are” approach.

2. Working for a cause.

In my job, working for a talent solutions firm, I constantly hear how millennials are OBSESSED with working for a cause. What does this mean exactly? Well, millennials like to be working in a company they can believe in. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is very important to millennials, and this means community involvement and charitable contributions are something millennials feel is very valuable not just in their personal life, but at the office as well.

Pros:

CSR and charitable contributions are amazing things to strive towards. If millennials can get more companies to focus on giving back to their community and the planet, this would have a positive impact not only within local communities but globally.

Cons:

There has been some discussion regarding whether this practice is sustainable. Most companies want to engage millennials, and create the next generation of leaders within their company. With age comes a shift in priorities and that could cause a shift in the ability of millennials to stay as engaged as they currently are.

3. Feedback.

Growing up, millennials received immediate and constant feedback from parents, teachers, coaches, etc. After entering the workforce this trend was transferred to their boss. Feedback is something millennials crave. Yearly performance reviews are becoming less and less important, and immediate feedback is the new trend.

Pros:

Immediate feedback means the boss and employee are constantly looking at ways to improve processes. It’s always good to have post-mortem project discussions right after the project is complete rather than wait 6 months and have a yearly review — after everyone has moved on from that project.

Cons:

Millennials tend to take negative feedback personally. Does this mean every bit of feedback will send a millennial over the edge? No, but perhaps this generation could ease up a little on their boss when he or she mentions some areas of improvement. After all, no one person (or generation) is perfect.

Millennials are changing the workforce daily, and this could mean great things for the future of the workplace.

Amanda Davis is a millennial and a special projects & marketing manager for a leading talent solutions firm.

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