Millennials continue to confound employers with a general sense of entitlement, perhaps even arrogance, and a lack of responsibility, but there are ways to manage them successfully.
This continues to be a big issue because most employers have been hiring Millennials for 15 years or more and will continue to do so for several more years, as they are the prime-aged work force of today. They typically range from about 19 to 36 years of age.
Indiana-based management coach Don Tyler warns employers that some of the complaints against Millennial workers are actually the problems typical of most young workers from many generations: Namely, that youth and inexperience is the cause of some friction. New workers commonly don’t fully understand what makes a full day’s work, sometimes don’t understand the importance of being on time, may not have enough respect for authority, and sometimes don’t understand what’s appropriate and what isn’t.
The complaints against Millennials in particular — those named in the lead paragraph to this story — are generational, however, and are a product of the environment in which these people grew up, Tyler says.
The “everybody gets a trophy” generation still labors under an unwarranted sense of high self esteem. They too often think they are entitled to jobs, pay raises and approval just because they’ve too often had it growing up, he explains. One of the symptoms Tyler sees is Millennials often think they deserve a promotion, on the average, after three months on a job. They often think they should earn the same as a 20-year employee and deserve the same valuation and respect.
“Anytime you think you deserve the same thing as someone who’s been working there 20 years, that’s entitlement,” he says.
It’s also still too common for Millennial employees to bristle at constructive criticism, Tyler adds. Many have simply rarely experienced correction.
On the other hand, some were reasonably good workers in the first place. After all, no generational appliqué fits all within the generation.
“Not everyone in this generation fits this profile,” Tyler says. “There are some great employees coming from this group, they just seem to be a little harder to find than in previous generations.”
Further, some have been in the workplace long enough now they have experienced what Tyler calls a BFO — Blinding Flash of the Obvious — and have settled down to make good hands.
The short explanation is this: If you have young workers who show possibility but lack some traits you need, you’ll need to try to teach them those traits and develop company policies which spell out clearly your expectations. (See sidebar story.)
Another secret may be actually hiring those Millennials who readily accept responsibility, accept correction, know how to think logically, and expect to earn their way up any ladder they are climbing.
We will publish more about hiring Millennials in the spring edition of BEEF Vet and here on the BEEF Vet webpage.
Don Tyler can be reached at (765) 523-3259 or on his website: [email protected]