Millennials continue to get razzed for being addicted to technology, social media, and texting. However, if you ask a Baby Boomer to leave their mobile device at home, delete their Facebook account, and never text again, you’d likely see them break out in a nervous sweat.
The truth is whether you are a millennial or not, you exhibit Millennial tendencies that can be strong catalysts to thriving in tomorrow’s workplace.
1. Millennials are early adopters.
Millennials started instant messaging, texting, blogging, and snapping selfies before anyone else. Even social media was created by a Millennial (i.e. Mark Zuckerberg), adopted by Millennials, and went mainstream because of Millennials. It’s shocking to learn how many people have a Facebook account who once swore they’d never have one because it was for “kids.” As a result of this ever changing digital world, many non-Millennials are now much more open to adopting new innovations and technologies.
2. Millennials lean into technology.
The Internet and digital technologies have created new behaviors and instilled new values that have never existed before. Thus the digital native Millennial generation has always approached problems fundamentally different than previous generations. We lean into technology to help streamline and systemize our work as well as enrich our personal lives. In today’s hyper-connected culture of perpetual beta, technology is infiltrating every aspect of work and life, and all of us have no choice but to lean in with a tech-savvy Millennial mindset.
3. Millennials are adaptive.
As early adopters, Millennials flock to new digital devices or platforms that are rapidly evolving. Facebook’s interface seemed to change every month in 2004 and 2005 which forced Millennials to adjust to the changes and thus they developed a knack for adaptability. Similarly, Millennials don’t let their experiences (or the lack thereof) hold them back. They welcome change and choose to adapt and innovate in order to stay relevant in today’s fluctuating marketplace. The 2017 working professional is consistently faced with new updates and changes that require a choice to adapt or be left behind, thus aligning with Millennial culture.
4. Millennials use social technologies to collaborate.
Millennials experience high returns and great value by tapping into their robust social networks. They use their social networks to crowdsource many of life’s decisions: Where should I eat? What should I watch? Where should I work? What should I buy? It’s as natural to them as breathing. More and more workplaces are seeing the same value and have begun leveraging collaborative technologies to help streamline processes, connect teams, generate ideas, and of course to be more social.
5. Millennials value lifestyle over work.
As more and more Baby Boomers approach the end of their careers, many are considering transitioning to what’s been called “lifestyle careers.” Through this transition, Baby Boomers are looking for more work flexibility where they can spend more time with family, travel, and work remotely. They are also interested in being highly passionate about their work and ensuring they make an impact. All of which are exactly what Millennials value in their careers today.
Like it or not, it seems there is a bit of the Millennial mind in all of us. Leverage these common mindsets and behaviors to create a more unified and forward-looking multi-generational organization.