Has a Millennial invasion begun at your workplace? Are you fretting that they will all demand five-hour workdays and time off for yoga therapy with their pets? Do you live in fear of not being sufficiently “woke”? Well, let’s put aside the exaggerations adopt a more philosophical approach: every generation brings change, and we all need to figure out how to pull the best results from these changes.
Many articles have been written already about how to “engage with Millennial culture.” Let’s start with the good stuff: from what I’ve seen, Millennials are eager. They are not cynical. They are here, and ready to make an impact. At CLM Advisors, we have seen this quality first-hand in the young people on our staff. One of our own, Devin Muracco, will be honored on November 13 by Southern New Jersey Millennials among its “30 under 30” award recipients, recognizing leadership in business. Devin is CLM’s Project Manager and Marketing Coordinator – a role that she has helped create, define, and develop over time. The title is modest; Devin contributes value and support to executive/strategic decision-making, human resources management, and the direction of our marketing and branding efforts.
Devin is not alone – we are seeing Millennials create value and opportunity in the business world every day. You can probably name some examples yourself. They are looking for purpose, and they tend to have that “business-school” mindset to solve problems. Technology is ever-changing, but it is hard to think of any 20-year span more revolutionary that what we have had since the late 1990s. Today’s college graduates were born around 1997. I had a mobile phone then – it was like dialing a two-pound brick. It had an antenna. It was not a super-computer and I could not use it to find my favorite food, order the food, demand a ride to go pick it up, play my favorite songs on the way, then take a high-resolution image of the food and share it to over 1,000 people instantly.
Things are done differently nowadays, and Millennials will naturally become vital agents of change in our businesses. Not all of their ideas will be good ones, and it’s true that this generation, perhaps more than any other, is confused by criticism or rejection. It’s true that some of them carry an unearned sense of entitlement, or a casual disregard for history and tradition. This is the nature of youth, and it is up to the rest of us to refine their ambitions. Please do so, but while you do, listen to them. You will be rewarded for it.