Millenials in the Workplace

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Millenials in the Workplace

Postby Andrew » Wed Jun 06, 2018 2:39 pm

This is part vent and part search for answers, but I have recently been the recipient of so much odd behavior that it is remarkable and I'm wondering if people had ideas as to root cause. Specifically:

- employee resigns after 6 months because we did not promote her

- employee starts in October, is upset that she cannot take the last week of the year off as vacation due to project work and she had not enough days accrued anyway, takes it without permission and gets her stupid self fired as a result

- employee resigns after 7 months because we had to fire her friend (see above)

- candidate schedules a Skype interview, and does not show up

- candidate schedules an onsite interview, reschedules once, then does not show up

- candidate accepts position, then 2 weeks later 3 days before the start date rescinds the acceptance to accept a counter-offer from the current job

- candidate accepts position, communicates with us over a 2-3 week period then does not show up on the first day of work. Does not respond to emails or phone calls

I wonder how people consider this is at all acceptable behavior. Back in the day we got advice on how to behave in life from parents and other more senior adults. Today I think kids do not listen to their parents and do not know anyone over 30. They live in an echo chamber of Facebook friends that are all their peers and also have no idea how to behave in the workplace or in life. That's my theory anyway. What's yours?
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Re: Millenials in the Workplace

Postby PG » Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:47 am

The following theory comes from my kids who are in the generation that we are talking about. Some of this is also visible in my youngest who is 9.

Millenials are used to have everything on demand. If they want to watch a television show they will do so online and the show will start whenever they want it to start and end when they want it to end. When they want to play with their friends they can do so immediately by going online. Combine this with the frequent use various electronic games and social media that provides immediate rewards in different forms and you may get the behaviouors that define the millenials or as at least one psychologist defined them the "I generation".
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Re: Millenials in the Workplace

Postby Andrew » Thu Jun 07, 2018 2:11 pm

Interesting. I see this in my 15 yr old as well, but I hope I have trained him to treat people with more respect.

By the way, all of these examples are from the past 6 months. I think there is this notion reverberating in the Facebook echo chambers of the millenials that companies show no loyalty and abuse employees, so nobody cares if you are rude to or abuse them. The problem is that the companies are just collections of people that have to deal with this behavior.
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Re: Millenials in the Workplace

Postby Abby » Thu Jun 14, 2018 6:18 pm

Before this turns into millenial bashing, remember that anyone born between 1981 and 1996 (ages 22 to 37 in 2018) will be considered a Millennial, and anyone born from 1997 onward will be part of a new generation. So the youngest people entering higher-ed and the workforce are not millenials.

That said, I seem to remember another generation that starts with a B not an M not trusting anyone over 30 either. So my point is that bad behavior goes with members of every generation and a lot of this behavior has to do with being new to the workforce, not being a member of a certain generation.
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Re: Millenials in the Workplace

Postby Cory » Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:33 am


There was a blog post on Linkedin about the migration of "ghosting" from the dating scene into the professional sphere. Socially difficult interactions seeming to have migrated from face-to-face interactions with closure, to text with no need for an intimate interaction, to completely passive neglect with no option for closure but whole heaps of lingering bad feelings.

Some argue that companies are reaping what they have sown on the HR and recruiting front. Having returned to a large company environment - I think this view has merit. Companies often pay lip service to the value of human resource and have depersonalized recruiting such that it is extremely difficult for managers to do the relationship building that is necessary to build highly effective teams.

Is this a "millenial" problem? I'm not convinced except for the fact that we live in a millenial age that is more competitive, more connected but less personal, and saturated with depictions of astonishing achievement that are atypical under reasonable scrutiny.

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Re: Millenials in the Workplace

Postby Michael James » Mon Jul 09, 2018 1:36 pm

This is an interesting forum to me being someone who was born in 1981. There is actually some debate about those who were born between 1977 and 1983. They are sometimes described as a microgeneration because they experienced both the analog and digital worlds. I can attest to this. I grew up with rotary phones and then watched the internet come online. ... _23006562/

That said, you can imagine that someone from my generation would be offended at the stereotypes, especially when they are lobbed most heavily by Baby Boomers who, in my experience, horde their experience and are reluctant to mentor the next generation. Consider all of the Boomers who were lucky to receive federal grants in the 80s and are still research powerhouses. Retire already...

Add to that the difficulty our most recent generations have related to student loan debt, the lack of pensions, inflation, the expense of health care, few housing options, a declining environment, etc. Maybe, just maybe we are impatient because we are in our 30s and we as a generation are still struggling trying to find light at the end of the tunnel. This doesn't have anything to do with Facebook or spending too much time on our phones. We are starting to realize that we need to be as selfish as the Boomers to live a decent life in this country.
Michael James
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Re: Millenials in the Workplace

Postby PG » Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:29 am

from my point of view there are a few facts that comes into play in this discussion and they are independent of the generation that you are in.

1 If you do several jumps between positions after a short time ie definitely if you do it within a year from being hired it will at some point create a problem for you in the workplace. The reason being that when a Company hires someone the first 6monhts are usually spent on training in the sense that the new hire isnt yet fully productive and the Company hired someone for that position because they need someone to do that job. Promoting everyone every 6-12 months just isnt possible.

2 If you accept a new position and then change your mind either to stay with the Company you are currently at or take a better offer that comes through later it will at some point create problems for you in the workplace. At least you will burn bridges to the Company that you first saud yes to and later no. Worst case that hiring manager mentions you to some of his friends at other companies that are also hiring managers. The reason being that companies spend a lot of Resources in a hiring process mostly in the form of time from various people. Also the hiring Company wants to fill the position for a reason and when a person accepts a position the Company says no thank you to their other candidates. If the person later changes that yes to a no the hiring Company have lost a lot of time which is also expensive.

3 There is a joint responsibility for every persons career development. The individual, the manager and the Company all owns parts of this responsibility. Since it is a joint responsibility talking about it makes things easier since mind reading is unfortunatly difficult for everybody involved. The manager should bring this up for discussion but if the manager doesnt there is nothing to prevent anyone from doing this themselves. At least within our Company it is considered a positive if a person wants to discuss his/her career opportunities. Some managers will have a higer focus on this than others but very few will ignore or take it negatively if brought up by the employee assuming that it is done in a constructive way.

4 There need to be realistic expectations from all parties in this discussion. The Company cant expect a new hire to remain in that position for 5 years and the employee cant expect to be promoted after a week. Exactly how the timelines and possibilities look like are different between different companies and positions and have to be discussed among the people involved.
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Re: Millenials in the Workplace

Postby Ralf K. » Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:47 am

Hello Andrew,

as a Millenial I have to say: It is too simple to fingerpoint at a Generation and vent.

Nobody disagrees with (as PG also mentioned) that if you just have a short stint multiple times that will look bad on a CV. I can also tell you that me or even Millenials friends don't do job hopping out of pure pleasure, but because there is often a reason behind it. And for me it is too simple to say afterwards "because she did't get promoted / her friend go fired". It is often much more than this, but the Linemanager doens't want to look at the thruth.

Millenials want to be part of the hot-topics, they want to work where their passion is and be at the edge of science/technology. They want to talk openly about the next steps in career, be informed about strategic decisions or even be part of it. Everybody wants that also the older generation, but trying to set a cage or telling them they need to take the same steps as the previous generation WILL NOT WORK.

As a millenial I have seen that often the previous generation is not ready to include them early in the career in strategic part of the organization or even "hiring-for-potential" for positions where it could be a strech but possible with a good mentor. Millenials have to fight to close the gap they see in job adverts: Req. 10 years of blabla in YYY,ZZZ,XXX. Because of this feeling they will be on the constant outlook how to close this gap.

My recommendation: Be a good mentor! Have an open discussion early about interest and career. Invest in your millenial and very important: They might not want to work the same way as you have been thaught. Maybe they want to work an completely new sideproject, be now and then part of the strategy discussion - thats how you are going to get buy-in.

Good luck and of course the millenials need also to do their part.
Ralf K.
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Re: Millenials in the Workplace

Postby E.K.L. » Fri Jul 13, 2018 3:15 pm

It is easy to complain how young people don't listen to their elders anymore, but in my opinion it's not that simple. Because what has changed is not just the attitude, but also the work environment. Social media is the biggest influencer of our time; for all that you can call facebook an "echo chamber", every big company that I know of is on it. Facebook, twitter, youtube - you name it.

I'm pretty sure by now most have heard about a certain young celebrity who is about to become the youngest self-made billionaire. The success stories of the current generation are not that of the past.
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