Millennials, Millennials, Millennials…
Like Jan driven to cries of “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia,” we’re all constantly inundated with Millennial messaging. The media hasn’t decided where it lands on the whole Millennial thing. Does it love them? Does it hate them? Are Millennials the most narcissistic, entitled, spoiled bunch of hashtagging selfie-obsessed generation to breathe on this earth? Or are they the promised children that will restructure our world and save us from impending doom? Either way, the point is the word “Millennial” has certainly oversaturated the generational conversation.
If this Millennial obsession stopped with the media, it might be overlooked, but the focus on Millennials extends far beyond media. Marketers are embracing Millennials’ unique brand of humor in an attempt to get a piece of the huge Millennial pie. In the workplace, many employers are scrambling to figure out how they can restructure their organizations to appeal to this “new” generation. This incessant Millennial mantra can result in the onset of a common workplace illness. Welcome to what we are calling “Millennial Fatigue.”
Symptoms of the Millennial fatigue affliction include:
- collaboration exhaustion
- general malaise
- a fear of the future
A day doesn’t pass by where my inbox isn’t flooded with Google Alerts telling me how to market, speak to, and even speak like a Millennial. Every time one of these Millennial-centric articles blesses my inbox, my Millennial fatigue kicks-in.
As a generational expert, I can push past my fatigue and my interest is piqued. As a Millennial, I read these headlines and wonder… where are they getting this stuff? It’s hard not to shudder as I read the headlines from popular blogs, magazines, and newspapers.
“Why Is Your Millennial Crying?”
“From Led Zepplin to Breaking Bad: The Lamest Generation”
“The Me, Me, Me generation”
NOW, I’m crying.
But there is a remedy to Millennial Fatigue. A way to ease the symptoms while still generating awareness and understanding about generational traits, values, and work styles. A simple strategy for cutting through the useless Millennial noise is to identify the information that avoids negativity, lacks bias, and tells stories around statistics. The ones that take a fair approach and give a cross-generational perspective will provide the relevant information needed to attract, retain, and communicate with this large generation while not alienating the others.
The generations topic is powerful. It permits and promotes honesty by openly discussing and debunking stereotypes as well as pinpointing kernels of truth that might exist behind some. This topic breaks down silos and generates healthy communication. Taking the time to find the messages that are well-rounded and multi-generational will have the strongest impact and will be your best bet in avoiding the fatigue caused by all the overhyped articles and negative nonsense.
Five questions to ask yourself when looking at Millennial-focused articles:
- Is the conversation one-sided, or is there an attempt to show all generational perspectives?
- Is there a negative slant?
- Is it solutions focused?
- Are the research sample sizes a large enough population to represent an entire generation?
- Are the authors or commenters in the article generational experts?
Millennial fatigue is pervasive in corporate America, but it can be avoided. Take preventative measures to ensure you avoid the fatigue and continue to bridge generational gaps.