We’ve heard the argument time and time again: Millennials are like no other generation before and their wants and needs are specific, and because of this, they need to be handled differently in corporate environments.
Following this trope, this generation is a monolith of special snowflakes, and whether they came from small private schools of 300 students or fewer or large public schools, they were treated like their wants, needs, and desires matter more than other generations. Ignoring this, they say, can prove to be detrimental to incorporating Millennial talent to your corporate environment.
But now, corporate experts are trying desperately to shut this idea down. This just in: the Millennial generation is, in fact, not a monolith, and treating them as such could be a detriment to your corporate environment.
Now how’s that for a mic drop?
In his New York Times article, titled, “Corporate America Chases the Mythical Millennial,” writer Farhad Manjoo subverts the typical stereotype of Millennials as entitled, similar, and unreachable, instead positing that like any other generation, the Millennials are actually (wait for it) people, too.
According to Manjoo, big corporations like LinkedIn and Oracle are now seeking the help of “Millennial consultants,” who charge as much as $20,000 an hour for their expertise on how to not only market to young people but how to manage them in the workplace as well.
But as Manjoo also astutely points out, there is one problem with this strategy: “Millenials” as a solid entity don’t actually exist.
“If your management and marketing theories involve collapsing all millennials into a catchall anthropological category — as if you’re dealing with space aliens or some newly discovered aboriginal tribe that’s suddenly invaded modernity — you’re doing it wrong.”
Instead, Manjoo encourages the corporate world to look inward at the alleged “Millennial challenges” they are being faced with. For example, taking responsibility for the way your company runs, looking at management style and hiring choices.
Because chances are, an employees’ “Millennial-ness” has nothing to do with the fact that they were born in the mid-1980s.
After all, isn’t every generation unique in its own right? Like the Millennials, the founder generation will present a whole new set of problems to be solved, like the Baby Boomers had before the Millennials. Because as times change, people inevitably have to change, too.