Each generation has their own distinctive style and perception when it comes to working for a startup. Boomers and Gen Xers value freedom from supervision and prefer to stick to the rules while millennials prefer regular feedback and constantly favor taking risks and innovation. Neither preference is better than the other. It’s just a matter of how you look at it. Instead of perceiving millennial traits as negative and contrary to core structure, businesses could benefit from leveraging these differences in bringing diversity to the workplace.
Like any other generation, underestimated millennials can bring a breath of fresh air to the workplace environment. Here are four reasons why millennials will help your startup succeed.
Your startup needs ambitious risk takers
Millennials were raised at a time when the self-esteem craze spread across America (1980s-1990s). Back then, it was believed that increasing people’s self-esteem could reduce crime and solve a number of other issues. Apparently, they thought major issues such as teenage pregnancy and pollution can be solved if only children are more confident. This period in history resulted in the generation of confident and optimistic individuals today.
Both are positive traits to possess, but when overdone, they result in narcissism and the feeling of entitlement. The latter is not always the case like people try to make millennials out to be, though.
Instead of treating them as threats to the company’s success, millennials should be considered as assets in the workplace because of their confidence and optimism. This makes them the daring risk-takers they are who seek rewarding results and experiences, regardless of the potential consequences.
After all, isn’t that what a startup needs? The starting a business involves a lot of risk-taking. These spontaneous people who are not afraid to come up with out-of-the-box ideas and try them would complement your organization perfectly. Otherwise, sticking with people who follow everything by the book will make it difficult for the company to be innovative.
Millennials are also highly ambitious individuals who work with the motivation of advancing their career. They don’t like to stay in the same place forever and they like to constantly move forward, any chance they get.
With these in mind, you can expect to have employees with drive and dedication that will help your company achieve its goals.
Collaboration is better than competition
Another notable trait of millennials that works well in the workplace is that they don’t care about competition. They prefer a supportive and collaborative nature instead of one where they are constantly competing with their co-workers. Hierarchy doesn’t matter for them, but a healthy relationship with their colleagues does. For them, building friendships with colleagues and the opportunity to share their experiences and interests with other people is important.
They like to be surrounded by people and new ideas. It doesn’t matter who’s been on the job longer, or who has the corner office. Ideas are ideas and whichever should win should be based solely on its relevance, not on the person who suggested it. This type of thinking results in a peaceful workplace environment that allows employees to freely express their ideas, without the fear of being dismissed because of their rank in the hierarchy.
Millennials embrace diversity
The importance of diversity in the workplace cannot be stressed enough. Employees should not only be able to accept each other’s differences; they should be willing to embrace them as well. That’s why it’s important to have a diverse group of people who will be able to coexist peacefully in the workplace.
With 44.2% being part of a minority race or ethnic group, the millennials represent the most ethnically diverse generation ever. This makes them more tolerant of differences. In fact, a recent survey of 18-35-year-olds across 181 countries shows that millennials care deeply about current global issues that divide people from different walks of life.
A glimpse at average millennials’ social media accounts might confirm some stereotypes. With their constant posting of selfies, asking for validation, and grumbling about shallow frustrations: they could be viewed as a generation of self-obsessed, entitled whiners. However, if you look deeper, you would also see that they are expressive when it comes to sensitive issues.
Bringing millennials into the mix is ideal in creating a synergistic work environment for your startup. If they can identify equally as citizens of the world instead of being identified separately through nationality, religion, and ethnicity, they can bring this mindset to the workplace as well.
In conclusion, having millennial employees who are capable of acknowledging and respecting each other’s differences will allow you to create a diverse workforce and build a great reputation for your company.
Passion in lieu of money
Most startups operate on a limited budget and try to do the best they can with what they have. Often, they compromise their employee’s salaries in order to manage the rest of their expenses. Unfortunately, a good percentage of job seekers tend to go for jobs that offer a high salary. The good news is, there’s also a group of people out there who are motivated by something other than money.
Looking for people willing to work with you all the way to achieving your goals on a tight budget? Go hire millennials. They will have the drive and passion that will give long term value to your startup. Your organization needs passionate people. Passionate people exude positive energy, are more dedicated to their work, and deliver great results. These are the ideal types of people to work with.
Skills and academic knowledge alone aren’t enough to bring your startup to its success. It’s important that you hire employees who are enthusiastic in doing their tasks too. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself replacing a new employee every few months.
Every generation has their strengths
Much has been said about millennials. While each generation has their own fair share of shortcomings, the spotlight is especially bright for this unfortunate bunch. However, all the negativity surrounding millennials shouldn’t keep you from seeing the good in them. Most people might have already lost their faith in this generation, but this constantly underestimated group of young adults might just be the ones to change the world for the better.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that by 2020, millennials will make up 75% of the workforce. They might get be getting the blame for killing a lot of things previous generations used to love, but contrary to popular belief, millennials aren’t ruining everything they touch, including your business.
Millennials are capable of doing so much more than taking selfies, playing Pokemon Go, and jumping on the bandwagon for every new tech gadget released. Like you, they’re just human beings trying to make it in this world. If you look beyond the surface, you can see their high ambitions and how they value healthy relationships with people. You would also appreciate how they fight for things they care about. Taking a chance on millennials might just be the best decision you’ll ever make for your startup.