In my interactions with my co-workers, I realize that there's this ageism misconception that's really pervasive.
What comes to mind when you think of a millennial? Maybe this:
What if I asked you to think about a colleague who's just turning 40 this year, his hair is turning white, maybe he's got a moustache, he's got 3 kids and enjoys golfing on the weekends?
Newsflash: this guy is a millennial.
According to the Pew Research Center:
Anyone born between 1981 and 1996 (ages 25 to 40 in 2021) is considered a Millennial, and anyone born from 1997 onward is part of a new generation.
There are far too many people that are still discussing millennials as though they are some kind of exotic demographic that's just entering the workforce. This concept that millennials are only reachable using focus groups in universities, or that they are these distant, unrelatable and difficult to understand creatures - is very misleading.
The reality is that millennials already make up a significant part of the workforce. They aren't just your junior employees, but already occupy middle management and senior leadership roles in the organization. The oldest of this generation have already been working for 15 years! You probably work with them on a daily basis.
In my view, the implication is this:
Companies don't have the luxury of time to change the way they work to "prepare for the influx of millennials". They are already there If you haven't already made efforts to understand and incorporate millennial values* into your work culture or business plans, then... it's probably already very difficult for you to retain or attract strong millennial talent Millennials who are already in middle management and leadership positions: speak up and help the people around you understand how to pivot in areas like technology adoption, social media engagement, green credentials, outreach and sustainability programs (the list is endless)
*I sometimes feel that this is a bit of misnomer because it implies that things that are important to millennials aren't important to baby boomers. Which is not the case. There are many baby boomers who are passionate about clean energy, for example. It's more about the increasing expectation from millennials that organizations should behave as responsibly as individuals do for the betterment of society and the planet.
Photo credit: from stocksy and istock and westend61
Disclaimer: opinions stated are completely my own and not my company's