5 Millennial Myths to Avoid Lead more. Stereotype less.

By Nina Zipkin

entrepreneur daily

When the label "Millennial" first appeared, most Millennials weren't yet born. That label was coined for a 1992 book by historians Neil Howe and William Strauss, Generations: The History of America's Future, 1584 to 2069.

Since then, Millennials have been drawn with some pretty broad strokes, and the characterizations haven't always flattering -- or accurate. But with this group comprising 75 percent of the workforce in ten years' time, there's no time like the present to understand this integral part of your company's future for a more productive and innovative workplace. Take a look at these common myths to better understand the reality that's facing your team and your leaders.

Myth: Millennials are all really young.
Reality: While boundary lines vary, most demographers agree that this generation begins in 1980 ending in in the late-90s to mid-2000s. So, while some Millennials can't yet vote or drive, the oldest of this group are 35, and have been holding down jobs, advanced degrees, and their own families for some time now.
Read more: 5 Ways Millennials Are Like No Generation Before Them

Myth: Millennials are job hoppers.
Reality: Not really. New data released from the Bureau of Labor Statistics has found that job security has been a moving target for decades. Their numbers show that older Baby Boomers (those born between 1957 and 1964) held almost a dozen jobs between 18 and 48. And what's driving the job shifts isn't boredom, but shifting opportunity, and that's a constant across generations. According to a study conducted by IBM, roughly the same amount of Generation X-ers (47 percent), Millennials and Baby Boomers (42 percent), said they'd leave their job for a chance work in a more innovative office with higher pay and more benefits. And really, all things being equal, who wouldn't?
Read more: What Millennials Want in a Workplace Really Isn't So Crazy After All

Myth: Millennials can't function without social media and smart devices at work.
Reality: In a study from Bentley University in Waltham, Mass., more than half of the cohort the researchers polled said that they would prefer to chat in person with their coworkers, followed by e-mail (19 percent) and then texting (14 percent). And 66 percent recommended that employers put a limit on social media in the workplace.
Read more: This Is How Millennials View Work (Infographic)

Myth: Millennials need their hands held.
Employees entering the workforce don't want to be coddled. But they do expect constructive, consistent feedback. Managers would do well to organize the offices they lead around mentorship, giving colleagues a chance to collaborate and learn from one another in perhaps unexpected ways, instead of sticking to top-down and opaque leadership.
Read more: 5 Ways for Boomer Managers to Motivate Millennial Workers

Myth: Millennials aren't interested in paying their dues.
All employees want to feel like they are making a valuable contribution in their job. The word entitlement is thrown around a lot when it comes to Millennials – but these young employees want to share their sensibility (which can often include flexible work schedules, the application of new technology, the chance to collaborate across departments) to make their companies more efficient and innovative, not make it somehow easier for them to slack off.
Read more: 4 Things to Know to Effectively Lead Generation Y

Nina Zipkin

Entrepreneur Staff

Staff Writer. Covers leadership, media, technology and culture.

Nina Zipkin is a staff writer at Entrepreneur.com. She frequently covers leadership, media, tech, startups, culture and workplace trends.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Related Topics

Business News

A Billion Dollar Startup Is Trying To Resurrect A Woolly Mammoth — And You Can Watch It Happen

Filmmakers will go behind the scenes of billion-dollar startup Colossal Biosciences, which uses genetic engineering for de-extinction projects.

Growing a Business

The Owners of This Texas Farmers Market Took a Big Gamble. Here's How It Paid Off Bigger Than They Dreamed.

A Texas farmers market educates customers about the importance of shopping local for a healthy lifestyle and an even healthier small business community.

Business News

A 29-Year-Old CEO Quit Microsoft To Build His Startup — And Just Scored A Deal on Shark Tank

Aabesh De tapped into a niche need during the pandemic and founded Flora, a houseplant care startup.

Business Ideas

55 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Employee Experience & Recruiting

Avoid Costly Hiring Mistakes With These Five Essential Tips

From using an AI-powered video platform to posting more precise job listings, these strategies will help hiring managers spend less time, energy and money finding the right candidates.