IBM today announced that pretty much everything you thought you knew about Millennials could well be wrong. A new IBM study reveals much of the hype about Millennial employees simply isn’t true. They aren’t the “lazy, entitled, selfish and shallow” workers that many believe them to be.
The results of the global, multigenerational study “Myths, Exaggerations and Uncomfortable Truths” found that the fundamental distinction between Millennials and older employees is their digital proficiency, which comes from growing up immersed in a digital world. But, for things like career goals, employee engagement, preferred leadership styles and recognition, the study shows that Millennials share many of the same attitudes as Gen X and Baby Boomer employees.
By 2020, Millennials will be approximately 50 percent of the U.S. workforce (1). So within the next five years, Millennials will wield increasing influence over organizations’ decisions, move in to leadership roles and basically take over the workforce.
Today’s business leaders need to begin planning for this shift by creating a workplace environment that will maximize the Millennial generation’s unique strengths. To do so, they first need to separate fact from fiction on what Millennial employees are really all about.
Myth 1: Millennials’ career goals and expectations are different from their elders (i.e. unrealistic).
Myth 2: Millennials need endless praise and think everyone should get a trophy.
Myth 3: Millennials are digital addicts with no boundaries between work and play
Myth 4: Millennials can’t make a decision without crowdsourcing.
Myth 5: Millennials are more likely to jump ship if a job doesn’t fulfill their passions.