Millennials are quickly becoming the largest generation in the workplace. But, who are they? What do they value? Where are they going in life? Why are they beneficial to the workforce? It is crucial that leaders and managers have a proper understanding of what makes this upcoming generation tick.

Who are they?

It is no secret that Millennials grew up with a broader understanding of technology then the generations that preceded them. However, there are other less obvious differences that have a great effect on their success and happiness in the workplace. Growing up in a world of instant gratification has made Millennials less likely to make long-term commitments to an organization. A lack of commitment to a company or a job means Millennials are less engaged in the workplace. What drives Millennials to success does not differ much from other generations, but where they do differ is the way in which the drivers are carried out. A recent article on stated that sixty four percent of Millennials agree that they want to make the world a better place. They want to believe that their work has meaning.

What do they value?

Millennials crave coaching and mentorship. While they may be obsessed with the latest technology, an overwhelming majority prefers formal discussions and one-on-one conversations compared to email, social media and texting, according to Forbes. Millennials also value individualism and the idea that each person has unique characteristics that can offer something special to a team or group dynamic. They want to believe that their voice is heard and matters. Do not expect them to blindly do what they are told without questioning the importance.

According to a Business 2 Community story, “Millennials want to work in an environment where it is ‘safe’ to ask and explore ‘why?’ Gone are the more simplistic days of the industrial era when a rote job description and manual sufficed for someone to do their job well.” Millennials also believe that they can have it all. They rarely fit into the typical 9-to-5 routine, and finding a flexible work/life balance is usually of the upmost importance.

Where are they going?

Millennials are looking to forge their own path as entrepreneurs, or for a job that will allow them to create their own path. They are often referred to as the “everyone is a winner” generation. They were the ones who got participation awards without actually winning anything. Because of this, Millennials are less likely to fit into previously defined job descriptions.

Forbes states, “Boomers were the fiercely independent generation. They grew up with the bootstrap mentality where you worked hard to build a future for yourself. Millennials however place more value in communal endeavors and reward each other’s individual strengths in the office.” Millennials are also searching for a greater purpose in life. While they value the work that they do, they do not let society define them based on it.

Why are they beneficial?

More than any other generation before them, Millennials are socially aware of their surroundings. states, “The interconnectedness of social media and the subsequent freedom for people from all around the world to share ideas, find and engage with like-minded individuals is the world Millennials certainly live, breathe and feel. This creates much stronger sense of community and global conscience.” Growing up in a world with many different technologies, Millennials are proficient multi-taskers. They are confident in the abilities they currently possess, while being open to new experiences.

There are several misconceptions that surround Millennials. The fact of the matter is, while they may be different, they are smart, hardworking and innovative employees that would make a promising addition to any organization.