3 Qualities of Millennials That Can Be Leveraged for Nonprofit Success
Over the past several months I've read articles and watched videos on the millennial generation and the difficultly some employers are experiencing hiring newly graduated, eager, Gen Yers. While some of the points made in these publications are valid obstacles unique to this generation of individuals, there tends to be an unfair emphasis on those obstacles.
Perhaps the challenge is for traditional models of management to see opportunities rather than obstacles. No matter how you view this generation, the fact is millennials aren't going away. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that millennials will make up approximately 75 percent of the workforce by 2030.
With that statistic in mind, here are three ways the qualities of millennials, often seen as negative, can be leveraged for nonprofit success.
Adapting to change
Millennials embrace change. Think of all the online platform changes this generation has experienced in its lifetime. This cohort is agile enough to adapt, embrace and incorporate these advancements into their lives. Progressing from Myspace to Facebook, AOL Instant Messenger to GChat, we are open to improving how we do things with technology as it evolves. That same sentiment can be seen in how we approach processes in the workplace.
We aren't afraid to challenge what's always been done for what can be done better with new tools available. I'm not saying that new is always better, rather I'm advocating for the openness to hear suggestions even when they come unsolicited. The decision to take action upon those suggestions is up to the manager, and that decision should be respected. That mutual openness and shared respect creates dialogue and opportunity for innovation and progress.
An inquisitive nature
From a young age, millennials are taught there is no such thing as a dumb question. These lessons manifested into a generational trait, widely misunderstood in accordance with new hires. Asking questions isn't meant to challenge authority. Asking questions is meant to help the individual understand the "why" of what is being asked.