Ed Gandia of B2B Biz Launcher recently asked what we thought the most important (and maybe even surprising) values, beliefs, and attitudes of millennials might be. Throughout work with millennials and at the 80/20 Agency, here are the seven major characteristics that we've generally found to be true of millennials:
1. Millennials demand authenticity.
They ingest thousands of pieces of information every day, whether they be related to current events, work tidbits, or social stories. They are wary of things that are false, and are not fans of being lied to.
2. Millennials are socially conscious.
This generation is possibly the most socially conscious we’ve had in the United States. Most are acutely aware of the environmental impacts they can be making and are more inclined to recycle, turn off the water while they’re brushing their teeth, or use shared ride services like Uber to do their part to reduce their carbon footprint.
3. Millennials like to belong.
They are social creatures, as are any generation of people, and they like to feel as though they are part of a community. Communities comprised of millennials are no longer wholly separated by race, gender identity, or religious background. Since communities are so inclusive, it’s not hard for millennials to find their niches.
4. Millennials like things to be easy.
Generally speaking, they’ve grown up with faster technology (both in scientific and practical senses—laundry machines are still technology) than have previous generations, and they have come to expect and rely upon ingenuity to make daily tasks more efficient.
5. Millennials are eager to learn.
Gone are the days of sifting through thousands of pages of literature to find statistics to support any solid research paper. Now, everything a person could need to learn almost any piece of information is a few keystrokes and clicks away. They want to be more educated and are cognisant of the fact that there’s a lot they don’t know.
6. Millennials are open minded.
They celebrate that no two people are exactly the same. Frankly, they realize that diversity is the lifeblood of progress. They have been encouraged by their parents to celebrate differences and diversity perhaps more than has any other generation, thus resulting in a far more inclusive class of people.
7. Millennials like flexibility and convenience.
Desiring a work/life balance isn’t a novel concept, but millennials are more insistent that it be attained. They want to have it all--family, vacations, steady job, amenities, etc. This is a sticking point for many employers because it is often perceived as being less willing to do hard work with higher expectations for their standard of living. Conflict between employers and millennials can be easily avoided by having early conversations about workplace expectations.
Millennials aren’t a new animal to be tamed. They speak the same language as their parents, slang aside, even though they sometimes have different means of communicating it. They’re people, and as is true of any group of people, it is important to realize that not all of them are the same. Values and beliefs are relative to a person’s situation, and to better understand millennials and their habits, it’s best to try things the old school way: talk to them.