If there’s any one major characteristic of Millennials – typically people born between 1980 and 1995 – it’s that they have little or no loyalty to any company or organization. But that’s not the only thing that makes them different from their parents. What makes Millennial a different breed of employees are the attributes which psychologists continue to witness among people in that group: a reluctance to compromise, self-centeredness, the tendency to change jobs frequently, and the attitude that they work to live rather than live to work.
Millennials are also known by a variety of other labels, among them: Generation Y (Generation X being their parents), the Net Generation (because of their interest in all things Internet) and Echo Boomers. While the characteristics of Millennials may vary slightly from one geographic area to another, some are virtually constant cross all areas.
Surprisingly, when it comes to how Millennials have been educated, most tend to come away with a team attitude rather than one which makes individuals standouts. As a result, they’re often described as fearful of making mistakes… because they don’t know how to handle them. Some psychologists go so far as to describe Millennials as “socially retarded,” the result of the happy, well-provided lifestyles in which Millennials were raised.
While Millennials may have the most advanced educations of anyone in the U.S., they seem to have distinguished themselves for not being able to manage conflict and for the attitude that their employers are, indeed, fortunate to have hired them.
As a group, Millennials also tend to not value the privacy rights of others, still remain somewhat tied to their doting parents – often in whose homes many continue to live – have far greater technical skills than those parents, but far worse table manners when eating. In addition, they expect their employers to provide them with skills they consider usable so they can take those skills with them when they switch employers.
Today, ninety million Millennials are slowly but surely beginning to replace 90 million members of the previous generation currently in the workforce, older employees who are eagerly looking forward to retirement. But given the different mindset of many Millennials, management – particularly those involved with Human Resources – is going to have continually adjust how it handles – and what it can expect from – this new crop of employees. To do otherwise would be to ignore key changes in a constantly changing world.