Brace yourself for the Millennial revolution

Word on the street is Millennials can’t get it together in today’s job market. Although they’re better educated than previous generations (and getting more educated all the time), employment rates aren’t following suit.

Four years from now the last of the Millenials will have graduated from college and will be filing into your office shagging you down for a job. Is your company ready?

Just reading some of the articles online about how poorly my generation is breaking into the workforce greatly concerns me, but not because I’m worried about my graduating class. To be honest, I’m genuinely curious about how on Earth we’re going to work with leaders who think we’re utterly incompetent. The message I get from a lot of these articles is “Wah!, my Millenials aren’t working hard enough!”

You guys are killing me. You think venting on the internet will solve your talent shortage problems? Now who’s acting like a Millennial?!

Millennials DO want to work—just not at stuff they hate

According to research and advisory firm Universum and the INSEAD Emerging Markets Institute (EMI),  Millennials would rather do nothing at all than work a job they hate. Granted, that’s probably the reason a good chunk of them are still living in their parents’ basements, but the situation has to be frustrating for employers as well, who haven’t quite figured out how to foster a high level of job satisfaction for this group. About 60% of Millenials will leave their company within three years. One word can sum up why this is bad for business: expensive.

Now here’s the good news. Many Millenials are highly motivated to do well. For young employees, presenting oneself as innovative and successful without seeming arrogant and greedy is a challenge. Come off as particularly confident and you’ll get labeled as entitled, but appear overtly coy and you’ll get tossed out for having no “grit.” To be recognized as genuine potential, therefore, Millenials can’t just be good at their jobs, they have to be great. And when in-coming young talent is performing exceptionally, that sets a high standard for all employees.

Make no mistake. When older workers retire or move into more senior positions, there’ll be no one prepared to replace them in medium-level leadership roles if organizations aren’t retaining and actively developing their Millennial talent.

Making Millennials work

A few big companies, such as MasterCard, Verizon, and Hewlett Packard, are among the top employers of Millenials and have had great success with these hires. Common characteristics of these organizations include a solid work-life balance and an outstanding company culture. It seems a major factor in whether a Millennial sinks or swims in the new job is work environment.

Bringing young workers with no work experience or traditional business mannerisms into your office can feel risky, but it doesn’t have to be a catastrophe! The key to working with Millenials and getting them to perform their best for you is to create a happy work environment that also promotes a high level of learning. It’s a simple formula: your young workers will acquire new skills and get vested in the company culture, which keeps them satisfied with their positions.

Who’s a slacker? Not us!

Millenials are a fresh crop of tech-savvy and otherwise talented individuals starving for good leadership. A lot of us Millenials are floating around as untapped potential and are being overlooked as a result of stereotypes. Meanwhile, the hard reality is that current business practices aren’t sustainable and something’s got to give. For the first time, it looks like companies will have to adjust to the needs of the incoming generation of workers and not the other way around. Change is not easy, but in our technology-driven society, it is inevitable.

The real question is: are Millenials truly slacking in the workforce, or are they just raising the barr?


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Joe Harrison
Joe Harrison
1 year 9 months ago
My struggle with how the millennial mindset is explained in this article is that it is our struggles and our challenges in life that produce the character required to lead. We will always be faced with things that we do not feel adequately prepared to do or simply do not like doing. But it is through adversity that we find the strength to be resilient, push out self-indulgence attitudes and learn empathy for those that we serve and work with each day. It’s one thing to not go looking for uncomfortable situations but is another thing to hide from them… Read more »