There are so many different articles and blogs out there that shame and criticise the millennial workforce, some stating that they are time wasters who ask too many questions and want to make a difference in the world with unrealistic goals. So is it important to embrace the millennial worker – and is it possible?
But before I answer my own question, I just want to take a moment and expand a little about my values and career journey. I like to help people (a lot) and organise things, give a little advice or diary management, all the way to organising an event – I need to make a difference!
Some 14 years ago I started off as a checkout assistant as I felt it was a good way to help people, service with a smile and all that! What I didn’t expect was to be promoted to checkout supervisor after just 3 weeks, overtaking employees that had been there a lot longer. This wasn’t down to staff shortages or something like that, but due to my ability to be accountable for my actions, question why things are done in that way and always make sure the customers are happy. 6 months after that I was being put forward for management training – WOW, great right!
However, an opportunity came my way and I “jumped ship” per se. This change in environment and industry set me on a challenging career path and I, like most others, started this new journey at the bottom of the ladder. Over the past 14 years I have moved around in various roles and companies, but I still hold onto the same values I had all those years ago – which I believe, along with grit and commitment, has allowed me to successfully climb that ladder while taking each rung in my stride.
And if you haven’t guessed already, yes I am a millennial and yes I know a lot of other millennials but guess what, just because our core values don’t align with yours doesn’t mean that they are unachievable or unrealistic. I help and make a difference to people every day of my life, doesn’t matter how big or small, the fact that it happens is good enough for me!
So, are millennial employees important and should you embrace them? My advice is “of course”. If you want your business to survive, grow and flourish in this ever changing technology embedded world, then you need that fresh, 360 thinking we provide.
Millennials don’t jump ship for any old reason, they jump because the company they work for does not have the right values and/or value its employees. For millennials, being a valued team member is important in whatever role that might be. Just because they might clean your offices or organise your filing system does not mean they should be any less valued than the MD of the company. They will, after all, be leading the next generation into the workforce. We are all people, we all have the same basic values, and it’s just our core values that differ!
Show millennials trust, nurture them, give them responsibility – what happens next may surprise you. We grew up in a time of uncertainty, recession and unstable infrastructures, but we took that and are making things happen in a new way, to try and future proof the way forward. The phrase “Just because that’s how it was always done” is no longer acceptable!
Move forward and embrace the change that the millennials are bringing with them. Millennials are the evolved versions of our predecessors after all!