Millennials get a lot of attention in the media, in part because they’re such a big generation – it’s even projected that they’ll outnumber Baby Boomers by the end of the year. Although they are the youngest adult-generation, they are shaking things up in the workplace with their unique skills and their impressive educational backgrounds. Millennials also bring different values and priorities to the table, already teaching older generations a little something about work-life balance.
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Last month, Samantha Landy and John Dagge of the Herald Sun wrote a piece about Millennial workers’ level of engagement and stress based upon a survey conducted of Australian workers. Although some cultural differences surely exist between Australian Millennials and American ones, there are plenty of commonalities as well, and there is a lot we can take away from this study. Let’s take a closer look at the survey’s findings.
1. Millennials are the least engaged generation at work, and they’re also less stressed than others.
Gen Y’s approach is different. They’ve apparently elected to shrug off the slog and drudgery that most older workers have come to accept as a fact of workplace life. Perhaps it’s due to having fewer family or financial constraints, but Millennials seem to have a more carefree attitude than other generations about their working lives. They are reportedly less stressed about work, and they are also less engaged than others, at least for now.
2. But, maybe they’re just working up to it…
One theory is that because Millennial workers are relatively young, they aren’t in high pressure positions as much as older workers, and that’s contributing to their seeming lack of engagement and stress.
Maybe Gen Y workers can, “…afford not to take work too seriously,” said Andrew Marty, SACS Consulting managing director. “Climbing the career ladder over the years means a more senior role and more certainty about finding the work they enjoy – this may be the reason older staff are more engaged at work than their younger counterparts.”
3. Millennials are focused on goals, and one of them is feeling engaged with their work.
One idea is that Millennials are more focused on specific goals, like buying a house, than they are on achieving the vague goal of “success.” They know what they want out of work, and they know how to aim for it. They also want to feel engaged in their careers, and are likely to switch jobs often in order to find the right fit.
“Millennial employees want to feel like they are part of something bigger than just their job,” Tom Turner, co-founder and president of electronic discovery and digital forensics company, told Business News Daily. “They want an understanding of how their position plays into the company’s success.”
Maybe Millennials aren’t so different after all. They’re spending the beginning decade of their working lives, or maybe even a little more, identifying their passions and perusing their goals. Right now, they may be less engaged at work, but their also less stressed by their professional lives than others. Is that such a bad thing? It will be fascinating to watch this generation navigate the workforce landscape as they continue forward.
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