We are all products of our surroundings. Where we grow up – and when – can make a huge difference when it comes to how we communicate, collaborate, and all together get things done. 

Keep in mind that just because someone has an alternative way of doing things, doesn’t necessarily make them wrong. It might just make them a bit misunderstood. Here are three of the biggest misperceptions when it comes to Millennials.

Misconception #1: They Are Lazy

I get it. There are a bunch of reasons that Millennials can come across as lazy at work. They might see the 8AM check-in time as more of a suggestion, for starters. 

The reality is that Millennials are more used to doing things on their own schedule. In fact, they often thrive in workplaces that have more flexibility. This allows them to do things best according to their own strengths and preferences. 

Just because someone doesn’t complete a task in a particular way during a particular time doesn’t mean that they don’t care or aren’t motivated. It might just mean that they have their own method. Unless something really needs to be done in a specific way, trust in their own process (at least once).  

Misconception #2: They Aren’t Loyal 

Millennials have had a very different career trajectory so far than older generations. They are more likely to hop between a number of different positions than they are to stay with one company for their entire tenure. 

A lot of people attribute this to the fact that Millennials have no loyalty or are solely focused on immediate payouts and benefits, but there are other factors at play. For starters, for much of their work life has been unstable. They are used to getting fired and having to hunt for jobs, and as such, they are more likely to leave if they feel their needs aren’t being met.  

A lot of employers – and other employees – can see Millennials as self-centered or entitled. But the fact is that they don’t want to feel like just another employee. They want to feel as though they are making important contributions to the team and that their work is valued. When they do, you’ll have their undying loyalty. 

Misconception #3: They Are Rude

Okay, depending on the individual, this may not be a complete misperception. But it’s important to keep in mind that Millennials have a way of communicating that is quite different from Baby Boomers or Gen X, which you may be used to. 

For example, some people would see responding to a work request with a quick text message as inconsiderate or unprofessional. For Millennials, this is just the norm. This group is far more likely to use technology for communication than face-to-face or a phone call. And think about it – it’s quick and easy, plus you have a paper trail. So take a moment before you get offended. 

Are Misperceptions Hurting Your Team?

Be honest. Chances are, you may have had a couple of these misperceptions about some of your youngest employees. Hopefully this will change your perspective for the better. After all, it pays to know your employees – including what they are, and what they are not. This way, you can most effectively motivate them, which helps all parties involved – including your bottom line.


Photo by Julián Gentilezza on Unsplash