Millennials have taken the workplace by storm. Whether they’re working their way up the corporate ladder or they’re your part-time graphic designer, you’d be hard-pressed to find an office, let alone an industry, that doesn’t employ Millennials. But, like every generation, Millennials have certain preferences, expectations, and general ways of doing things than other generations.
Here are three important things to know about how Millennials operate in the workplace:
1.Millennials are natural-born leaders. Fortune Magazine talks about a phenomenon occurring in offices around the country called “reverse mentoring.” This happens when companies pair older workers with younger ones in order to educate one another on how their business works, as well as brainstorm new ways to improve their day-to-day operations.
This is a great way to maximize the potential of each generation in your office. Everyone always has something to bring to the table, and keeping an open mind and learning from each other will only make the team dynamic stronger.
2. Time-off is important…but only if it’s flexible. Many Millennials came of age during the recession, so they know how important it is to have a safety net (even if they don’t yet have one). However, even if they’ve scored jobs where they’re allowed a certain amount of paid time off, many are afraid to use them for vacations.
According to a recent Forbes article, a survey by TakeBackYourTime.org revealed that 54% of employees don’t take a vacation in order to save their time off for emergencies, and 34% of employees never take vacations with their family!
3. Lunch breaks are not what they used to be. New research shows that Millennials are not even getting up from their desks to take their lunch breaks. Perhaps it’s because their tethered to their computers or phones, but long gone are the days when lunch hour meant a break from work and a temporary escape from the office.
But Millennials are not alone in this. A study conducted by Right Management found that 80 percent of employees do not take a regular lunch break. But this doesn’t mean that they’re working through their lunch breaks. It might actually mean that they think of their desks as a more casual space, making way for decreased productivity.
Of course, it’s important to remember that not all Millennials are alike and that just because some of them act a certain way, it doesn’t mean that they will all have the same preferences. However, these trends are key for employers to understand so that they can better engage with their Millennial employees, as well as encourage better communication across generations.
How do you foster communication across generations in your office? Join the conversation on Twitter with @WhatTheGen or@JasonDorsey. And don’t forget to add your #generation!