Here is a great article about Millenials, and our current “common” understanding about this youngest generation in the workforce.
I personally think that the “Millenial issue” is more relevant for us to think about on the consumer side. It seems clear to me that younger people spend differently, want to interact differently, and like to do different things when on vacation than other generations. That is a serious issue, and we need to be adaptable and innovative (see “twitter wall” behind MGM Grand front desk, or see recent articles about Hilton doing mobile check-in with smartphone unlocking the room).
But from an employee perspective, I haven’t seen it. Sure, we want to upgrade/modernize the technology we use since Millenials are used to modern web/mobile/touch interfaces. But heck, I want that too. In terms of what drives them in their career, I ask lots of interns, college students and recent hires about this issue, and they often tell me they want things that sound exactly like what we want (or at least what we wanted when we were their age).
I wrote an article on talent management for a gaming industry publication recently that tackled some of this issue also. Here’s a portion:
“We often hear that millennials want to move up the corporate ladder too fast, and aren’t loyal. But giving them the opportunity to develop leads to loyalty. According to a 2012 Deloitte report, “Surveying the talent paradox from the employee perspective,” two of the top three most effective retention initiatives, two of the top three incentives desired by Millennials are promotion and job advancement (#1 ) and leadership development opportunities (#3).”
The young professionals I talk to are interested in working hard, understanding the bigger picture, and contributing in a meaningful job. That doesn’t sound so “out of left field” to me.
So I have started giving recent hires advice to simply ignore talk about their generation. They might work for someone who seems to perceive that they are lazy, expect things handed to them on a silver platter, or want to just get promoted as fast as possible. I tell them to just keep their head forward, work hard and learn and eventually that leader will realize the millennial isn’t so different than they are.