Making Sense of Millennials in the Workplace, part I

With as many Millennials–born 1980 to 2000–in the U.S. population as Baby Boomers, the American workplace is undergoing a significant demographic shift.

While talk of the differences among the generations can be overblown, there are indeed some new ideas, beliefs and practices making their way into our offices as this younger generation grows in representation. The public sector organizations that best understand the characteristics that set the Millennials apart from their elders will be best positioned to compete for the top talent in this age group.

A couple of recent posts on the Harvard Business Review blog offer thoughtful analysis on the much maligned work ethic of the Millennials and of the necessity for organizations to rethink their social media policies if they are to attract the best and brightest in this group.

Both posts suggest that Millennials challenge the hard separation between work time and free time that has typified previous generations’ approaches to task management. While many assume that this means they’re more prone to use work time for non-work purposes, in fact their willingness to use non-work time (hours outside of 8am-5pm) to complete work tasks may be more pronounced.

What is your organization doing to ensure that you are ready to welcome the contributions of Millennials?