Understanding Millennials in the workplace

Millennials are hiring and being hired. They can be your boss or co-workers. This article shows you what Millennials in the workplace are like, how to work with Millennials, and the key to establishing successful work relationships with them.

According to some demographic studies, today, Millennials (those born between the 80s and 90s respectively) represent 25% of the workforce of a company. In 2025, they will represent 75%. They are, or will be, your bosses, your co-workers and even recruiters. Since they joined the labour force, this generation has been described as distracted, impatient, lazy, nonconformist and unable to hold down the same job for a long time. But what does it really mean to work with Millennials? Is everything as terrible as it sounds?

The first thing you need to know to understand about Millennials in the workplace is that they are Digital Pioneers, which is why they could well seem impatient and nonconformist. But on the positive side, they work hard towards positive, tangible results. Freedom-loving Millennials are also much happier and more productive in flexible work environments. According to some studies, priorities for millennials in the workplace are the following:

  • Team work.
  • Transparent and honest leadership and management style, offering the capacity to listen and motivate others.
  • A positive business culture which generates employment, working towards the goal of improving society.
  • Inclusive attitudes and diversity in the workforce (this is one of the biggest reasons Millennials stay in the same company for more than five years).
  • Flatter hierarchies which offer the ability to manage their own time and the potential to work remotely from time to time.
  • A decent salary with the philosophy of working smart, not hard.
  • The adoption of technological solutions which improve and guarantee work for everyone (Although they’re dubious of what Industry 4.0 may bring, for fear of not having the necessary skills, or job insecurity).

Now we’ve familiarised ourselves with the values and priorities of Millennials in the workplace, you can use them to your advantage; whether in job interviews, with coworkers or management. Are Millennials in the workplace as different (and as terrible) as they say? On the contrary; their social awareness and digital know-how is contributing towards a better, healthier work environment for everyone. And if you want to get along with them, it’s probably best to avoid calling them out as Millennials, too 😉