I thought I would define a few buzz words I heard at the Blink 2024 event, but again, the topics expanded and I found myself writing a novel, so today I am focusing on answering the following question:
What is a Millennial?
This is a good place to start, since many of the changes and trends taking hold of the way companies do business these days can in large part be attributed to Millennials. This is the name given to a generation of people who are now making their way into the workplace in force and are establishing their careers.
The Millennial generation has also been called Generation Y, since it is the generation that followed Generation X.
There are many definitions of who a Millennial is, but I found a great explanation on a site called The Millennial Legacy that takes into account the “grey area” that will always exist when trying to define societal generations.
A Millennial is someone born between the early 1980’s and the early 2000’s. Someone who is born near the beginning of this range would decide for themselves whether they identify more with the Millennial generation, or with Generation X. The same applies for those born near the end.
You can read The Millennial Legacy’s explanation on their What is a Millennial page.
With an age gap of about 20 years, you can see that the first Millennials are in their early to mid 30’s and the youngest are about 14 years old. By now, the workforce is seeing Millennials join their ranks in big enough numbers to start making an impact on how companies operate, how they hire, and what they need to do in order to stay relevant and attractive to their growing Millennial workforce.
This generation will affect how businesses move forward. Typical values of the Millennial generation include:
They are very tech-savvy, mobile, and flexible. They easily accept and embrace new technology into their work. You won’t have to work very hard to get their buy-in when introducing these new tools, but you might have to manage their expectations when you don’t seem to adopt the latest tech trend quickly enough!
They value a good work-life balance to the point that they are willing to leave jobs that interfere too much with their preferred lifestyle. They have probably watched their parents get laid off from various jobs and do not expect to work for the same company for long stretches of time. They assume they will change jobs frequently, and concepts such as short-term contracts, project work, and simultaneous part-time jobs rather than one full time job are normal, and are often preferred.
Millennials want to work for businesses that have positive moral, social, and ecological values. They love an employer with ethical business practices and who regularly supports charitable or non-profit organizations or events.
They also love to work collaboratively and creatively in teams, and especially like to make friends at work and to socialize with colleagues outside of work.
An emerging trend in progressive workplaces today is the creation of flexible and collaborative work spaces.
Many offices have adopted a system where you call in or use a website to book your office or desk space according to your preferences or needs at the time.
They are building workplaces with a mix of private and communal spaces that provide personal choice along with flexibility and the chance to escape the typical cubicle set-up.
I think this is so smart, especially when trying to balance Millennial-friendly ideas with differing Baby Boomer and Gen X preferences.
Since one of my passions is to help people rediscover and maintain their work/life balance while still achieving their financial and personal goals, I definitely respect the Millennial generation’s focus on creating a life rather than just earning a living. Redefining Success was created to help people who are looking to do just that!
I’d love to hear what you think about today’s workplace trends, about how Millennials will continue to influence the future of business and lifestyle transitions, or about what you think of this post or the Blink 2024 series. Please leave a comment and start a conversation!
In my next post, I will look at how trends in the workplace are being created and influenced by each of the 3 generations that currently make up our workforce.