Millennials – love them or hate them?

By Anthony Lewis | 04 September 2018

Millennials – love them or hate them?

The term millennials is being used and adopted more frequently around talent attraction and development strategies. This is hugely positive and encouraging to hear, however, far too often it is being used in a negative and derogatory way.

The ‘Snowflake Generation’ is referred to as narcissistic, self-obsessed, lazy and entitled in many surveys and it is often these traits that are being highlighted. Hardly the list of character traits you would seek when recruiting. While you cannot argue with the research and findings, you can choose to change your optics. Often I find those who see these traits first are those with a more traditional approach to change and unsure of what millennials might mean for their organisation.

Upbeat, open-minded, questioning and passionate about equality are also traits that describe millennials, and we should be focusing on these. It is these traits that the public sector craves when seeking innovation and new ways of delivering public services during austerity. Millennials are the future workforce and if organisations do not adapt their structures, work patterns and expectations then they will not attract, retain or benefit from millennials, and their liberal thinking and desire to create and own something that adds value to the world other than profit. Public sector organisations must find ways to attract millennials and hold positive career conversations that will unlock and unleash their talent.

It is a role everyone in the organisation must be accountable for.

Anthony Lewis is a director, executive interim, at Penna

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