We’ve said it before and it’s no secret – Millennials get a bad rap. Many have characterized this generation as selfish, entitled and lazy. But there’s one word that perhaps summarizes them better than the others and that we don’t often hear:
From 9/11 to Katrina to Sandy Hook, the Millennial generation has not had it easy. In “Managing Millennials for Dummies”, the author states “In response to all of this bloodshed and uncertainty, Millennials, despite the typical rhetoric, have become resilient…They’re determined to make the best of the here and now and, in the face of change, roll with the punches the best they can.” And while tragedies and hardships aren’t strangers to previous generations, the inundation of social media has changed how this affects us on a daily basis. “Older generations were able to some degree, to disconnect from the news and all the atrocities flooding the media… For younger Millennials, the news is always there and always in their face (or in their pockets).”
As Millennials become more resilient to the increase of violence and hardship, there are many ways this plays out in the workplace:
- “You Only Live Once” is the motto of this generation. They want to make the most of every moment and are quick to move on if they are unhappy or unsatisfied in their work. With tragic daily news, millennials are faced with the reality that life is short and should not be wasted.
- Millennials seek to make a change in the world and desire to have meaning behind their work. They pursue ways that businesses can affect the social and political issues they face.
- Millennials have a more personal relationship with their managers. Consequently, they desire a coach or mentor relationship versus one of power and position. They need to know their boss has their best interest at heart.
- Millennials are more innovative and quick to try something new. Because they’ve become resilient in the face of failure, one mistake or downfall does not leave them defeated. They can quickly pick themselves up and try again.
- Millennials need to unplug and recharge. They deal with news on a constant basis, while checking emails or browsing the internet. This constant connectivity means it’s more important they have time to get away from office stress.
Whether you work with Millennials, manage Millennials, or are a Millennial, find ways to acknowledge their (or your) resilience. It’s no small thing to bounce back from the hardships we’ve all experienced over the last 10-20 years. Let these experiences empower us to be better and do more.