Social Enterprise

We're not what you think: Debunking the myths about millennials

Setting the record straight on the workforce of the future...

Who says millennials are going to create anarchy in your office? Shelley Portet - herself one of these terrifying creatures - sets the record straight about young people, technology and the workplace.

A bit like He Who Must Not Be Named - that's a Harry Potter reference by the way for you oldies - young workers born after 1985 are apparently now so terrifying to employers they are given the ominous title The Millennials.

Fears of what will happen when these young people enter the workforce - so tech-savvy that they will bring anarchy where there was corporate order - have spread through the business world. How will they be managed? How will they be recruited? How will they be controlled? Who will save us from them?

As a millennial myself, I view these horror stories with surprise and some amusement. I had thought my generation was to be known as the doomed generation, to be ever in debt and unemployed. Now I find we are set to change the face of the corporate world forever.

While there are many ways in which my generation brings with it a new attitude to technology, much of what is written about the future workforce is at best misguided.

Let me put the record straight and lay some of these millennial myths to rest, speaking for all millennials everywhere - or at least the ones I know.

Millennial Myth 1: Millennials will bring a wave of IT anarchy
The myth: millennial workers will bypass corporate policy and use applications and devices that fit their expectations of IT. Cue scenes of chaos in the office and redundant IT support departments forced to live rough.

Will the millennials really upset the IT apple cart?

Will the millennials really upset the IT apple cart?
(Photo credit: Shutterstock)

The reality: a recent Gartner report shows that many people in enterprise are already bringing technology from the home into the office. As most millennials are not in work yet, we must assume that IT anarchy is not a phenomenon restricted to the post-1985ers.

Millennial Myth 2: Millennials are experts in social networking
The myth: knowledge of social networking seems to be the millennials' greatest asset. Businesses know social networks are a powerful force and are important to 'young people'. But many businesses appear unsure how it all works. Millennials - who have grown up on social networking - must therefore hold the key.

The reality: I apologise if I am doing anyone out of a job here, but really, we just...

1 comments
historybuff67
historybuff67

You do realize that there is a whole generation of people in between the Boomers and the Millennials, right? And that you work with us every day? You get that, don't you? The Boomers are all starting to hit retirement age. They are not going to be the majority of people you work with for much longer. If you want a productive workplace, and you want your bosses to be people you enjoy working for, you might want to not make them invisible when you are discussing generational cohorts in the workplace.

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