The Differences between the Millennial Generation and Other Generations

The Differences between the Millennial Generation and Other Generations

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2044-3.ch002
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Abstract

After you read this chapter, you will be able to know the characteristics of Millennials, understand the behaviors of Millennials in the workplace, understand the Millennials viewpoints for his/her jobs, compare Millennial to other generations, and find the differences among different generations.
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The Characteristics Of Millennials

Several studies have compared Millennials with Baby Boomers. The main reason for this is that Baby Boomers are in many instances parents of Millennial Generation individuals, and readers can understand the relationship between parents and children (Parment, 2013). Both cohorts have different characteristics; that is to say, many of the things that Baby Boomers do not do, the Millennial Generation do. Additionally, the Millennial Generation also differs from Generation X. Generation X is independent and survival oriented, while the Millennial Generation is sheltered and team oriented (Keeling, 2003). Sa’aban, Ismai and Mansor (2013) and Brown et al. (2009) propose and describe the following characteristics of the Millennial Generation.

Technological Savvy/Impact

The Millennial Generation is in contact with a lot of new technology, such as the Internet, cell phones, television, and so on. This generation’s lifestyle is also influenced by these technologies. Because Millennials grew up with these new technologies, they depend on technology more than Baby Boomers and Generation X do, and the technology even becomes part of their life. Additionally, they use online social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, and so on (Sa’aban et al., 2013). Based on these social networks, Millennials easily communicate with others and obtain information quickly (Brown et al., 2009).

Cultural Acceptance

The Millennial Generation can accept novel things. Hence, Millennials are able to work with other people easily and accept diverse cultures. Unlike previous generations, the Millennial Generation is more tolerant of different races, religions, and cultures (Sa’aban et al., 2013). Additionally, the Millennial Generation is less likely to have a sense of cultural superiority (Brown et al., 2009).

Flexibility and Multitasking

As already mentioned, the Millennial Generation is able to accept different cultures. Hence, flexibility means that Millennials work with new people, places, and situations. Although they do not expect to change, they are ready to adapt to new things and people. On the other hand, technological development help Millennials to multitask. Therefore, they are able to deal with multiple tasks at the same time. Moreover, they use technology to develop the ability to multitask (Sa’aban et al., 2013).

Being Independent

The Millennial Generation is likely to do things according to their own approach but this does not mean that this generation prefers to work alone, or that they do not want to propose ideas and thoughts about the task assigned. Millennials consider themselves as being confident in dealing with tasks with the help of technology. That is to say, technology is the reason they are independent (Sa’aban et al., 2013).

Teamwork

Although Millennials tend to show independence, they also prefer teamwork where they are working together in a group to implement a certain task. The reason for this is that they are happy to join in a group, and they can finish their work earlier and get more opinions from discussion or brainstorming. Hence, the Millennial Generation prefers collaborating and working as a group to working alone (Sa’aban et al., 2013).

Entitlement

The Millennial Generation is considered the entitlement generation. In the workplace, sense of entitlement refers to this generation’s hopes of climbing the career ladder at a rate considered unreasonable by colleagues of other generations. When their expectations are not met, the Millennial Generation will search for new opportunities, and they want to move quickly up the career ladder (Brown et al., 2009).

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