By 2025, millennials will make up almost 75 percent of the global workforce. And while millennials have been stereotyped by some for having a "poor work ethic," the fact remains that millennials are tomorrow's workforce and an increasingly important part of today's workforce as well.
At Bentley University, I talk and interact every day with millennials who overturn every one of those tired old stereotypes.
As the influence of 18- to 34-year-olds in the workplace grows, here are five reasons I'm bullish about millennials.
1) They're natural agents of change. Millennials will change the world. I've seen firsthand Bentley students who cut short their winter break to participate in philanthropic efforts. From the life-changing experience of transforming a vacant building into an innovative community center to creating business plans to help children in Ghana sell handmade bracelets to fund their education, millennials' connectedness to real-world issues is astounding. Thanks mostly to social media, they are extremely aware of current events around the world. No generation before them has been as global.
2) They're practical. When it comes to the workplace, millennials don't only value flexible hours and frequent salary raises, but a huge majority of them (96 percent) say healthcare benefits are a key factor in choosing a job, according to a Bentley PreparedU survey of millennials' attitude toward work. Millennials grew up during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the 2008 recession and they look for security wherever they can. Practical and realistic? You bet.
3) They value human interaction. Contrary to popular belief, millennials at work actually like to communicate in person instead of by phone call, text or email. They're eager for human interaction and know that first impressions are crucial to impress people and succeed. Here's a piece of advice for millennials: don't be afraid to raise your hand. Ask questions. Raise concerns. Share your ideas. Ask for what you want.
4) They care about corporate social responsibility. According to our Bentley PreparedU survey, 95 percent of millennials say a company's ethics are very important to them in choosing where to work. Millennials now ask what companies do for the community or for their environment as a matter of course. It's just part of their DNA now.
5) They're loyal. Some corporations hesitate to invest in employee training and development because they think millennials lack loyalty and are "job hoppers." The reality is quite a bit different. Eighty percent of millennials believe they'll work for four or fewer companies in their career. Nearly one fifth of millennials -- 16 percent -- think they'll stay in their current job for the rest of their career. It turns out millennials are more loyal than many people think.
Millennials are driven by doing well for themselves but also by doing good for the world around them. They have a greater awareness of what is going on in the world than any other generation. Millennials are the generation who will change the world and, confident in their skills, work ethic and creative approach, I look forward to the change.