I’m often on the defense when other business owners and managers around my age (aka: OLD) start complaining about the entitlement-driven Millennials (born between early 1980’s to early 2000.) I work a lot with this generation and they are some of my finest employees and are committed to pushing our company’s mission forward with excellence. Millennials can multitask, they are hyper-connected—respond quickly to customers–and they buy into propelling their digital DNA which benefits their employers company brand. My generation of computer “immigrants;” not so much.
HOWEVER…I do acknowledge there are some problems areas within this generation and many can likely relate many of these frustrations. Do these sound familiar?
1. Job Hopping is Normal. It’s OK to keep a job for 2 years and move on because Gen Y not only has a short attention span, but want a sense of purpose in his or her work and the ability to strike a reasonable work-life balance.
A report by the U.S. Department of Labor shows that people born after 1980 have held an average of 6.2 jobs by age 27 and 57% of jobs lasted less than a year. Employers are finding out that job loyalty among this age group is not something they can take for granted.
2. Fame and Fortune. So you just graduated from college, have had your job for 8 months, and now you are going to open your own consulting business (or be a reality TV star?)
Studies have shown that Millennials are more self-obsessed than Generation X and Boomers in that they increasingly value money, image, and fame more than intrinsic principles like self-acceptance, affiliation, and community.
3. Intolerance. If you don’t agree with certain social issues, you are a “Hater.”
Millennials talk incessantly about tolerance and yet they lash out whenever anyone dares to present a view that doesn’t align with theirs. To be “tolerant,” you have to agree with them. Abortion, Same-sex marriage, Religion, Legalization of Marijuana, and Immigration are the topics most deliberated.
4. Can I have that Yesterday? This negative behavior of no patience is a result of needing instant gratification.
Slow internet? The end of the world is near!
5. Diagnosis galore: The never ending, “I’m adjusting to my meds.”
Seeming influx of disproportionately Millennials plagued by narcissistic, histrionic and borderline tendencies… ADHD, Anxiety, Depression, OCD, Bi-Polar, and many more. We don’t know what this generation will be like when they in their 40’s, but coping skills will be a key factor.
2012 study by the American College Counseling Association reported a 16 percent increase in mental-health visits since 2000 and a significant increase in crisis response over the past five years for Millennials. According to recent studies, 44 percent have experienced depression
6. Where’s God? No worries.
There’s Yoga, Meditation, Sage, Oprah, and Burger King Spirituality.
The bottom line is that if we don’t focus on the strengths of this generation and focus on what is vastly different than us, then bridging the gap will continue to be a very slow migration.
What do you not “get” about your own generation or others such as the up and coming Generation Z, Millennials, Generation X, Baby Boomers or even the “Silent” Generation (b. 1925-1942)? What are strategies you have found to bridge the gap between generations?