Social Enterprise

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

Setting the record straight on the workforce of the future... his book Grown Up Digital, for my generation, "technology is like the air" - telling us how to use it seems pointless.

Instead of wasting our time and yours, allow us to do what we naturally do with any technology: learn by using. Give us a day, perhaps two, to learn the peculiarities of your IT systems by trial and error. Have someone on hand to answer our questions and you will find your staff better acquainted with your systems than after a whole month of inductions.

Also, you won't risk killing off the enthusiasm of your new recruits on day one.

Millennial Fact 2: Multitasking comes as second nature
When we watch TV, we usually have our laptop open to update our Facebook status, airing our views on the latest X-Factor hopefuls while also texting our friends on our mobiles. We are concentrating on all three things at the same time and we can't see why that would be strange.

Millennials need freedom to learn how to use technology

Millennials need freedom to learn how to use technology
(Photo credit: Shutterstock)

In other words, don't worry if your young recruits have five internet tabs open, with Hotmail, Facebook and YouTube being three of those as I do now - work email and are the other two, if you're interested.

There are all sorts of frightening statistics telling employers how much productivity is being lost to Facebook - just search 'Facebook' and 'productivity' for a colourful sample. But do employers worry about productivity lost due to staring out the window? Probably not, but only because there aren't any easy-to-find statistics on this particular form of distraction.

I find listening to music via YouTube and checking my Facebook and Hotmail accounts every now and then keeps my mind active. Millennials are used to constant stimulation from a variety of media sources. It keeps us happy and, more importantly from a work perspective, it keeps us alert.

A final thought: the threat of the millennials is the new millennium bug - a lot of hype and worry over nothing. Technology will change the way people work, but this change is already happening and is not restricted to the millennial demographic of your workforce. So enough with the horror stories.

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