Alyssa Stahr

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Making the Magic Happen with Millennials in the Workforce

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Whether you’re excited to talk about millennials or view the word as a curse, the fact is that millennials are here in full force and here to stay. The Arland Group’s Vice President of Operations and Client Success, Stephanie Silvey, recently spoke at DisruptHR Talks St. Louis about the stereotypes, where they came from and how employers can win with millennials.

During her “Making the Magic Happen” speech, Silvey said that millennials are defined as the “special snowflakes” who are born between 1980 and the year 2000. They are roughly between 18 and 34 years of age, and within fewer than 10 years they are going to make up more than 75 percent of the workforce. Millennials are a defining generation in today’s workforce, and employers should note that strategies may need to change for future success.

In her research, some of the most popular stereotypes Silvey gathered regarding millennials included:

  • Time Magazine said in 2014 that millennials are lazy, entitled narcissists who still live with their parents.
  • 65 percent of Americans thought that millennials are entitled, according to the Time Magazine article, written by Joel Stein.
  • Some millennials have been given participation trophies for perfect attendance or given too many gold stars and praise when it probably wasn’t deserved.
  • With more people moving back home with their parents after college than ever before due to the burden of massive student loan debt, millennials are categorized as lazy people sleeping on their parents’ couches.

While the stereotypes don’t paint millennials in the best light, Silvey said that understanding them will help employers manage them better. She said that retirees are leaving a gaping hole in the workforce, in fact, according to an AARP poll, 48 percent of companies say they have no strategic plan for when baby boomers exit the workforce.

So, how do we manage millennials? Here are some key takeaways from Silvey:

  • They deserve more guidance and feedback when they are doing a good job and how to improve. Silvey says to forget about the six-month performance review; instead, provide consistent, daily feedback.
  • Make sure to communicate how the millennial’s role can influence the world. Additionally, encourage employees to ask a lot of questions because they really want to understand the bigger picture.
  • Sixty percent of millennials say that upward mobility growth development is extremely important to them when they are considering a new role.
  • Research shows that millennials are able to multitask at a rate that we’ve never seen before, using up to three devices a day. They bring these into meetings, and we should allow them to use their devices to take notes. Technically, millennials are able to put 20 years of tech experiences on their resume – use this to your advantage.
  • To stay competitive, employers could provide a work-life balance or flexible scheduling if the business is able to make adjustments. Gone are the days where a 60-hour workweek is the norm. Allowing employees the option to work from home one day per week or from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. instead of a traditional 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. schedule may make for a more productive workforce. In fact, at The Arland Group, our work from home perk is one of our most coveted benefits.
  • A Gallup survey found that the U.S. economy lost $30.5 billion last year because of high turnover due to low millennial engagement, and research shows that external hires are paid 18-20 percent more than an internal transfer. Your job as a company is to make sure you are assessing your pay scales across your organization.

While money isn’t the No. 1 factor when millennials are considering a new job, it is important. And, since time is money, learning what makes a millennial tick could be key to your future success.




The Arland Group is a recruitment marketing and communications agency. We believe people do their best work when they find their best job. Integrating strategy, media and creative, we specialize in building clear, authentic employer brands that close the gap between candidates and exciting careers around the world.