Search, “Why Millennials Suck” on Google and you get 1.4 million results. We tackle the (literally) age- old question this week on Recruiter Fuel: why are millennials so awful? They aren’t loyal, they don’t go to work, and blame others for their problems. Steve discusses the issue in part one of two with a panel of people spanning generations x, y, and z. We just touch the surface of why our young, incoming workforce is perceived as so terrible—and why the stereotype isn’t as black-and-white as you think.
Raleigh began on a personal note saying that his timeliness and integrity is a product of how he was raised, making clear that his opinions of others isn’t indicative of millennials as a whole. You can’t blame a characteristic on a generation when so much is dependent on individual factors. Hanna took the mic shortly after saying, “Things have changed…what was valued by the older generation just isn’t valued the same… [like] building a long-term career. They have to remember, that was due to having a pension… we don’t have that anymore.” Millennials are likely to move on to the next better paying job because of this. They aren’t getting as much for their loyalty. Jen concurred, noting that as companies have changed, so has the way employees interact with them.
Hanna once again took the mic saying, “the younger generation is motivated more by altruistic reasons." Younger people in the workforce she says tend to look for different things in companies, and Dana, our lone gen Z-er agreed, “we don’t want to see a company that says, “oh we’re trying to do all these good things” … we want to see that it’s 'real'.” Green initiatives and inclusion seem important to younger people in the workplace. Jeff also brought up the phrase, “if you’re loyal to me I’m going to be loyal to you.” Brett also agreed. Millennials and gen Z-ers, he says, want to be invested in and see that they are given opportunities for development. Loyalty is a two-way street. Companies have to show that they care before their employees begin to care about them.
“Yes,” Hanna said, “it all comes down to our motivations and what we value and its drastically different.” Gender equality was a big part of this as generations have come closer and closer to equality in the workplace. Our values have changed and can sometimes drive expectations in the workplace among different age groups.
Justin brought up the important issue of work-life balance. “When an employer doesn’t give you the opportunities you need to also have a successful life outside of work… that can show in your daily routines at work.” Differences, he elaborated, also appear in how younger generations were raised and taught. The “No Child Left Behind Act” started in schools had given kids access to mentors and opportunities to develop. When a millennial gets guidance, they can grow and move up rapidly but, if they do not, they can stagnate.
Are these differences really there? Or are they just stereotypes we give to every new generation? Millennials appear to be loyal (if you are loyal to them) and care about what their company stands for. It is only part one and there is much more to come. Next week we will find out why these stereotypes exist in the first place, and what actually differentiates millennials and gen Z-ers from everyone else.
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