Posted on 11th February, 2016 by Jake Story
Having had an undeniably remarkable impact on the workplace already, the Millennial generation is the cause of much debate and conversation today, despite the first Millennials only beginning work in 2004. In that time, the workplace and business world have both changed remarkably, with the Millennial generation the first to grow up and work amidst the change caused by the new, connected and device orientated lives we now lead.
But despite being unique, why are Millennials of interest to us? Well, at LEO Learning, we believe that the lessons we can learn from looking at the characteristics of Millennials could ultimately be the key to business transformation.
The first generation to grow up with the internet and to communicate by default via social media, the characteristics of Millennials are distinctly different to any generation to come before them, which ultimately impacts how they learn, think and communicate.
The characteristics of Millennials
An entrepreneurial spirit
From blogging, personal brands and freelancing to eBay stores and ASOS Marketplace Boutiques, Millennials have an undeniable entrepreneurial spirit. Using a combination of tools such as e-commerce platforms (Depop, Shopify), website builders (WordPress, Squarespace) and social media platforms (Twitter, Instagram), Millennials are fully aware of how to use the connected age to make money, market themselves and to boost their own value.
Everyone is, or can be, famous
With what has become an almost natural approach to technology, Millennials and, in particular, young Millennials are well versed in having and speaking to an audience. Social platforms provide everyone with the same voice, from celebrities to teenagers, and everything is measured in likes, followers and subscribers. This trait often blends with the above, with bloggers and vloggers creating a pretty tasty living by sharing their lives online, so much so that Forbes released a list of YouTube millionaires in 2015.
Multi-tasking comes naturally
Millennials habitually prioritise breadth of focus over depth, paying superficial attention to many things at once without fully focussing in on one. With a near constant eye on social media, observing, commenting and sharing becomes second nature, with social is now integral to the average day for a Millennial. This doesn’t mean, however, they aren’t capable of study, more that they have become so accustomed to social media that it comes second nature.
Competition is everywhere
The aforementioned entrepreneurial drive leads to a competitive nature, which is characterised by the sheer amount of gameplay the Millennial generation indulge in. In the workplace, this equates to a drive to be top of the leaderboard and above their peers. While the majority of online, competitive gameplay bears no relation to the workplace, the compelling qualities of a game can be used to engage and motivate Millennials when it comes to learning and training.
This blog post was based on a section of Kath Fleet’s all-new LEO Learning ebook ‘Millennials: Event Horizon’, which is available for download exclusively from our resources page. The ebook delves deeper into the characteristics of Millennials, what it means for learning and how to engage and retain Millennial employees.