When did millennial become such a dirty word?? It wasn’t always the way. Super quick history lesson now, so listen up!
The term millennial has been with us since 1991 when historians Neil Howe and William Strauss coined it in their book Generations. They knew this generation was going to be very different from the one before and they successfully predicted that millennials would be more tolerant of differences, more optimistic and more risk-averse than the previous generation. They said that in this generation families would grow closer and crime rates would drop.
All very positive right? But then the term gained popularity, appearing in books, in the media and, of course, in the workplace, and these positive attributes were dismissed in favour of sensationalist cynicism…
“For Millennials, a Generational Divide’” – The New York Times, 2013
“The millennials who think they’re simply the best” – The Irish Times, 2015
“17 Reasons Millennials Are The Worst Generation” – Buzzfeed, 2017
“Psychologically scarred’ millennials are killing countless industries from napkins to Applebee’s — here are the businesses they like the least” – Business Insider, 2017.
‘’How Millennials Killed Mayonnaise’’ – Philadelphia magazine, 2018.
Was that as baffling to read for you as it was for us? We thought this gloomy trend would have let up by now but nope, it is as strong as ever it seems. That’s why we’re going to bust some millennial myths right here, right now and prove once and for all that millennials are more than just avocados!
4 millennial myths – BUSTED!
Myth 1 – Millennials can’t work in a team
Given that we have millennials on our own team, we simply had to bust this myth first! There is a persistent belief amongst business leaders that because millennials have grown up in a digital world, they cannot communicate effectively in real life. One theory says that because millennials are so consumed with their smartphones and laptops, they have missed out on crucial social skills and, more specifically, they have not learnt non-verbal cues.
The proposal that millennials are unable to connect with people around them is laughable to us. We don’t need to look far afield to see proof that millennials are very engaging. In 2017, Oxford Dictionary added “youthquake” to the dictionary because of the political activity amongst millennials, and as we know from our own referendum recently, a lot of effective “real world” communication is required to successfully organise a harmonised campaign. In the business world, start-ups are synonymous with millennials, and no this is not because they want to add the word “founder” to their CV! Millennials actually prefer start-ups to big firms because of the team-oriented culture and the perks that come with this kind of social environment.
Myth 2 – Millennials are killing industries
The phrase “Millennials are killing – ” has become so pervasive in the media that there is now a meme about it! Of course, millennials are not killing any industry. But they are making informed decisions about what they choose to buy into. B2C companies have been saying for years that the consumer is king and they’re right, millennials are very informed consumers who are going to question your business values while also shopping around for the best deal. The media is covering this like it is a bad thing, but we are here to say it is not.
Instead of buying luxury cars, diamonds or designer bags, millennials are spending their money on experiences. They are travelling the world, pushing themselves to their limits, going to yoga retreats and attending gigs. Can anyone really say that this is a bad move? As for why they are not buying starter-homes anymore or putting their money in a bank…well, we don’t think we need to explain that to anyone!
Myth 3 – Millennials are not loyal
Companies are getting a bit miffed about how millennials will move on if they are not satisfied with their place of work. But perhaps the problem is that companies need to work a bit harder to meet their expectations. We don’t believe all millennials need a sleep pod at work so they can take a nap on their lunch break and we also don’t think they require an endless supply of avocados! No, we believe their expectations are much more grounded in reality.
In our experience of visiting different companies on a daily basis, we find that the ones that make their staff feel valued and respected have an easier time when it comes to retaining their staff. Showing your staff that you care about them goes a long way. It really is that simple! A strong work wellness program can not only keep your teams in tip-top condition, but it creates a positive and motivational atmosphere. If you need help setting that up just visit our blog, “Your how to guide for setting up a wellness programme from scratch!”
Myth 4 – Millennials are all the same
This is the worst myth of them all. Sure, a generation of people are influenced by their specific culture and time, but they are also individuals. Millennials are IT pros, make-up artists, illustrators, fruit box packers (that’s us!), bitcoin miners, waiters, politicians, directors, marketers and all the other job titles too. They are from all corners of the world and some of them even think avocados are kind of bland!
If you have a few millennials in your office, why not ask them if they think a weekly delivery of juicy, fresh fruit would be a positive addition to the workplace? We’re not going to make any assumptions, but we have a hunch they will appreciate it! Order a free trial today and take the first step to a healthier office!