Millennials are often labeled as the “participation trophy generation,” which frames them as needing a lot of recognition for work they didn’t put a lot of effort into. A perception exists today that millennials have been coddled growing up and expect immediate gratification as the key to unlock success.

As an extension, they are described as lazy, self-absorbed and too busy with social media to be productive at work.

However, as millennials continue to take over the workforce in the U.S., it is becoming clear that these stereotypes aren’t reality.

Millennials appreciate innovation, want to make an impact with the work they do and often feel under-utilized. A Deloitte survey on millennials found that a mere 28 percent of the generation believes the company they work for is utilizing their skills to their full potential and 75 percent feel that their organization is choosing its own agenda over making change in the world. What’s more, 94 percent of millennials prefer to use their skills for good.

The bottom line is that millennials are extremely hard workers, they just expect more out of the work they do and the companies they work for. Their ability to use social media and harness technology is actually an asset and what is needed from all modern workers because of the expectations of consumers today.

Not to mention many millennials entered the workforce during or just after the Great Recession. They saw firsthand how the economy can change and the need to adapt to get through tough times during a downturn. Avoiding the mistakes of the past could be the reason why they understand that hard work matters so much.

More and more evidence is showing that millennials aren’t the problem, they are the solution. It’s up to today’s companies to understand how to best utilize their drive.

Here are four characteristics of millennial workers and how they are beneficial.

Technology and social media savvy. Millennials grew up with the Internet, technology and mobile phones. Because of this, they are quick to adopt new technology and software used across all industries. While companies strive to stay up with technology trends and use Internet marketing, it is extremely valuable to harness how millennials use their mobile devices and try out new technology.

Desire to believe their company delivers meaningful work. Millennials want to feel as though the company they work for is really making a difference in the world. This generation aims to not only work, they want to bring about change in communities. If embraced by executives, this mentality helps further company goals involving community work and missions, and also pushes organizations to create new initiatives as a result.

Problem solvers. Millennials want to be challenged by the work they are doing. Continuously performing the same duties day in and day out isn’t compelling to many millennials as they value taking on new goals and projects. This isn’t being ungrateful, it is something that allows organizations to take on new initiatives to enhance their business and provide value to their customers. Millennials want to learn and enhance their skills and as an extension, they have a built-in entrepreneurial spirit that also can be utilized by organizations that are looking to take new industry paths to stay one step ahead of the competition.

Work-life balance. Millennials desire a good balance between work and personal life. This shouldn’t be taken as a negative. This generation simply does not want to be chained to their desks all day. They want to be able to go to the gym and take professional advancement courses. Building a strong professional network and the ability to focus on friends and family allows them to stay refreshed on the job and to continue to thrive. Modern technology allows millennials to get their work complete on the go, creating a positive work environment along the way.

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As the millennial generation becomes more prevalent in the mortgage industry, American Pacific Mortgage has taken steps to make sure it is a place that embraces their familiarity with technology, passion for change, entrepreneurial spirit and desire for schedule flexibility. In that spirit, we recently developed a new initiative that not only brings millennials in with welcome arms, but also sets them on a course for success by training them based on the things they value.

LaunchPad is a new, all-inclusive training platform for “new-to-the-business” Loan Officers. LaunchPad delivers sales training, NMLS pre-license education, a working knowledge of mortgage industry basics and provides mentorship throughout. It covers everything a new originator needs to launch into the mortgage industry. It allows for flexible work schedules by utilizing mobile tools and technology so they can work remotely and have control over their work schedule while allowing them to focus on building their pipeline.

At APM, we have experienced great success over the last 20 years, recently hitting $9.7 billion in 2016 production, while supporting our branch managers and loan officers with an innovative culture and unique mix of technology and loan products to provide a great customer experience for our borrowers. We set the standard for delivering homeownership in America. Building human connection and community through the loan process is core to our success. We stay true to that mission in order to make a real difference in the lives of so many homeowners across the country.

For more information on LaunchPad, click here.

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