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Understanding Millennial Work Psychology

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Getting a start-up off the ground has its fair share of challenges and keeping it afloat is not a piece of cake either.  Studies have shown that 90% of start-ups fail.  Poor cash flow management, inadequate start-up capital and no market requirement have all been cited as significant factors that contribute towards the demise of start-up ventures. For some of these problems, solutions can be found, even if it was not accounted for in the initial business plan.  

For example, cash flow related problems for a business can be resolved by taking out additional cash flow finance from peer to peer lenders.

But, if a company is launching a product that does not have great market need, it’s hard to see it doing well in the long run.  In this article we talk about another important factor behind running a successful start-up and that involves getting the right employees to work for you. Seeing as most of your current employees are going to be millennials, it’s important to understand their psychology, so that you can extract the most out of them.

Lets begin by discussing some common myths that exist regarding millennial employees.

Myth 1:  They Have No Work Ethic

Reality: This is a very common mis-conception about millennials and a very lazy one at that.  This attitude can be very positive for your business if used in the correct manner. Millennial employees are highly focused on completing their task quickly and efficiently. So, if you lay out their list of tasks in a structured manner where they no longer have to worry about “what to do next”, they will go about getting all their tasks done in a productive manner.

Myth 2:  They Won’t Put In The Extra Work Hours

Reality: Millennial employees are willing to work as hard as needed to get the job done by finding more efficient ways of doing their work. They are not that fussed about sticking around for more time just for appearances. Time is a very important commodity for your millennial employees. It’s a generation that wants to strike the ideal balance between home and work life.

Myth 3:  They Don’t Respect Authority

Reality:  Millennials do in fact respect loyalty and leaders, but they won’t respect authority just because. It’s important to remember that you are dealing with a generation of people who believe in earning respect and loyalty. But, if that respect is earned expect a fierce commitment from your workforce towards you and your business.  Studies have shown that loyalty is the primary reason why Gen Xers choose to remain in a job in the first place, especially during the first three-year period of the business. Any guesses on the top reason why they quit their current job? Yes, it is because of employer dissatisfaction.

How to Manage Your Millennial Workforce

If you look to employ the same approach with your millennial workforce as you do with the rest, you will end up wasting a lot of your time. Don’t waste valuable time comparing eras. It’s unlikely that your current employees will have the same drive or motivation as you and your peers had when starting out.

It’s your responsibility to use this knowledge and use it in a way that improves the interaction between you and your millennial employees. By doing this properly you will be able to motivate and reward your staff more appropriately.

For example, lets consider workplace attire. Now you would probably have been happy to adhere to any dress code that was imposed upon you when you were first starting out.

Today’s youth want to separate themselves from the clutter. They want their individual self to shine even when working in a team setting. So look to find ways that will strike an ideal balance between the need to fit in under a specific brand and the individual need of today’s millennials to stand out and be creative.

The bottom line is this, myths surrounding millennial psychology is not all what they seem. Attitudes and perceptions towards life, work, respect and loyalty have changed, not necessarily in a bad way. As a matter of fact it can be argued that some of demands made by todays working generation has led to benefits for employees of all generations.

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