My youngest brother is a millennial. Recently we were discussing the pros and cons of streaming TV (Apple TV to be specific). This led to him asking me how I receive my electric bill.
“You get your bill e-mailed to you, right?” He assumed.
“No,” I replied, “I still get the bill mailed to me.”
He gently rolled his eyes as if I were the ignorant little brother. At that point I could have reminded him I used to change his diapers, but instead I asserted my relevance to the modern world and added, “I do pay my bills online, though.”
So who’s right and who’s wrong? Neither. The point here is that although my brother gets his bill electronically and I get mine via snail mail, in the end we both get the same result. A bill that needs to be paid.
I often hear complaints or finger-pointing from boomers and Xers about “this millennial generation” that in a lot of cases is unjust. Yes, millennials are hugely reliant on technology and they value performance over presence, which is different from what older generations know or prefer, but that does not make these younger workers wrong or lazy. On the contrary, many millennials have learned how to use technology to their advantage by becoming more efficient in their work and personal lives than we “older brothers” of the world.
As I develop internship programs and feeder systems for my client organizations, one of the greatest compliments I hear is that the employer completely underestimated this millennial generation’s ability to get things done. So no matter whether you want to see your bills in your mailbox or your inbox, learn to become open-minded to your millennial staff’s approach to work. You just might discover the end result is exactly what you asked for—or better.