One thing that loom’s within the meetings industry is the diverse differences between millennials and previous generations. As we network within the meetings industry, the theme of generational dynamics often enters our conversations.
However, is there a negative connotation when we are labelled “millennials”?
Attitudes towards millennials and younger generations stem from societies’ attitude and misrepresentation of a new generation entering the workforce.
As stereotypes go, millennials have been hugely misread as older generations tend to generalise us as lazy, entitled and narcissistic. When will millennials stop excusing themselves and the narrative society portrays them as through self-deprecation as an attempt to reach a common ground?
Here are some common misconceptions on millennials today:
1. Lazy Vs flexible and efficient
Although prior generations perceive flexible work hours as ‘lazy’, millennials have been proven to be more efficient with their time. Rather than working 60 hours a week, young professionals have proven time and time again, if the work-life balance is flexible, targets and workload have been completed in less time, often to a higher standard.
2. Entitled Vs Goal Focused and ambitious
Many millennials are perceived as entitled with an “I want it now” mindset in the workplace. However, as the economy grows, job opportunities are becoming vastly competitive, the need to ‘climb the ladder’ for your career has been replaced with a new type of ‘hopping’ from ladder to ladder. Millennials have been raised with more educational and work opportunities than previous generations. Because they choose to utilise these opportunities, it signifies the goal focused and ambitious generations that are the future of our workforce.
3. Snowflakes and sensitive Vs Passionate and driven
Millennials have also been considered as ‘snowflakes’. A term that signifies an overprotected upbringing, guarded by sensitivities that can create frustration for those who do not share the same age bracket. However, with this, millennials express their opinions, courageously speaking out on social issues prior generations tended to ignore. Through movements and protests in recent years, millennials have proven to be extremely passionate and driven. Rather than ignoring their voice, listen, and comprehend the fresh new future millennials will put in place.
4. Narcissistic Vs bold attitude with a fresh perspective
Millennials have been labelled as the most narcissistic generation. However, as the competition for work opportunities becomes global, millennials have learned of the importance to be bold, stand out and prove how valuable they are. With these forms a bold attitude that has allowed for a fresh new perspective and a stronger voice to guide a more innovative workforce.
How to work alongside Millennials:
To generate a mutually beneficial relationship within the workplace, millennials must be given the opportunity to grow and feel as though their viewpoints are being valued.
Not only are millennials the most educated generation in history, but their upbringing from both a social media perspective and a strong desire for improvement, has allowed them to be extremely valuable to employers.
By respecting the experience and expertise of senior level industry members, millennials can feel their own sense of empowerment through encouragement from their employers.
Together, millennials working with the X-Generation and Y-Generation, can create an exciting, energetic and innovative workforce for the future.
Rather than a misinformed prejudice on millennials, companies have finally begun to support these preferences. Studies have shown how teams can become more efficient in reaching targets and goals together when flexibility, opportunities and a good work moral are prioritised.
The gap between generations can only be bridged through an understanding of each-others capability and preferences. At the end of the day, we millennials know we have a lot to learn and are willing to do so while gaining the recognition and appreciation of our work and skills.
Aisling Coffey is a young professional and new to the meetings industry. She works as the marketing assistant for SoolNua - a specialist marketing agency working in the meetings, incentives, conferences and events industry.