More than any other generation of workers, many employers today have become convinced that millennials are difficult employees to manage. Despite the reputation that has somehow cropped up around the millennial generation, the reality of young employees in the workplace is quite different than their popular reputation.
Here are three of the most common myths about millennials as workers and how HR managers can leverage those misperceptions:
1. Millennials are Lazy
This is perhaps the myth with the least truth to it. Employers have become convinced that hiring millennials means taking on workers with little to no drive. The reality, however, is that millennials are used to hard work and long hours. With a larger number of millennials having pursued college education than any previous generation, the younger demographic has had to become accustomed to the rigors of full-time schooling. In many cases, these students have even had to maintain part-time jobs while attending college. Thanks to this experience, one could argue that millennials are probably better equipped to handle workplace stress than members of older generations.
2. Millennials Waste Time on Social Media
One habit that millennials have that concerns some employers is their seemingly constant attachment to their phones. While this is a indeed a trait of millennial workers, it doesn't necessarily have to be a problem. Most younger people can multitask effectively with technology, showing no significant decrease in productivity because of phone or social media usage. Even better, social media use can be made to work for, rather than against, the interests of the business. The skills that millennials possess in sharing information on social platforms can be leveraged to promote a business to a broad audience of potential customers at little to no cost.
3. Millennials are Entitled
Of the myths surrounding millennials in the workplace, few are as derogatory as the many assumptions that are made about the entitled attitudes of millennials. Younger workers do want good benefits, reasonable pay and time off, but the same requests have been made of employers by every generation since the baby boomers. The reason millennials seem obsessed with these elements of a job is the fact that few businesses offer them anymore. If your company has a benefits package that earlier generations would have considered good, millennials will accept it without any complaints.
Despite the negative reputation that has become affixed to them, millennial workers are often hard-working employees who can be huge assets to businesses. Although they differ from earlier generations in their opinions and values, they are not the lazy or entitled workers that popular myths would have employers believe. Hiring managers should seek out millennial talent and see for themselves how untrue these three myths truly are and how this generation's talents can build the next generation of employees.