Millennials tend to get a bad rap on the whole, and their work habits are no exception. You'll often hear younger workers referred to as "spoiled," "entitled," or even just "obnoxious." But actually, this oft-beaten-down generation is pretty misunderstood when it comes to all things career related. Here a few common workplace myths associated with millennials, and why research from Udemy proves that none of them hold water.
1. Myth: Millennials can't stay put at their jobs
Reality: Though jumping from one company to the next has pretty much become the norm these days, millennials aren't the serial job-hoppers we think they are. An estimated 59% have been at their current jobs for over three years, in fact, which shows that many are willing to be patient and work their way to the top.
2. Myth: Millennials care most about free coffee and office happy hours
Reality: Many workers enjoy the fringe benefits that are part of office life. But millennials say learning and development programs are the most important benefit they look for when deciding where to work. This shows that younger workers are serious about growing their skills and advancing their careers.
3. Myth: Millennials are know-it-alls
Reality: A good 73% of millennials say they expect to need additional training or education to excel at their careers. In other words, younger workers aren't just planning to sit back, do nothing, and wait to get promoted. Rather, they recognize that it will take work on their part to advance.
4. Myth: Millennials are spoiled financially
Reality: You might assume that the millennials you see congregating at fancy coffee shops are living on handouts from their parents. But actually, 43% of younger workers hold down a side hustle for extra income at present. Meanwhile, another 20% expect to take on a side gig in the future to cover their bills.
Like them or not, millennials represent a large portion of the workforce, so if you want to attract and retain the most talented younger workers out there, you'll need to understand what makes them tick. Clearly, career development is important to millennials, yet less than 50% of younger workers say that their current employers provide the training and learning opportunities they're after. If you're willing to invest some time and resources into a development program at your company, you may come to find that your younger workers not only stay on board, but increasingly excel and produce results.
Furthermore, while compensation is no doubt important to all workers, including younger ones, millennials, in particular, want the flexibility to set their own hours or adjust their schedules for a better work-life balance. And while you might think that sentiment reeks of entitlement, remember that flexible work arrangements are becoming more common these days, so it's natural for younger employees to want to be part of that trend.
Finally, recognize that millennials aren't the overwhelmingly lazy bunch they're purported to be. Many are willing and eager to pay their dues. If you give them a chance, they just might surprise you.