Spoiled, impatient, & entitled: why you need strong millennials in your workplace

The Millennial generation enters the workforce with a new set of skills and a different kind of work ethic than previous generations. Over the next five years their effect will be profound, as over 58 million millennials become employed in the U.S. alone. This article explores what the likely impact of this workplace transformation will be.

It begins by looking at the events and circumstances that influenced these Gen-Yers as they grew up. The millennials are the first true “children of technology,” growing up with the instant communication of cell phones and smart phones and the “highly-charged feedback of video games.” Used to a fast-paced energized environment, they revolutionized texting and instant messaging and frustrated their elders who were used to the more sedate email and voicemail. Millennials are also used to a constant flow of encouragement and positive feedback from parents and teachers and expect this type of support on the job. They were greatly affected by the “herding” phenomena of the 1990s and 2000s — including team sports, team projects and group dates – which have gotten them used to more teamwork and collaboration than previous generations.

The scions of “helicopter parents” who made their children’s major decisions, completed their projects and even did their homework, millennials have come to rely on demanding yet trusting relationships with their elders, an attitude that the author believes can extend into the workplace. Other positives from employing millennials are identified by the author:

  • They bring a new energy into the workplace.
  • They are very task-oriented when instructed clearly.
  • They are tech savvy, making them highly efficient and natural tech mentors to other generations.
  • They naturally “speak the language” and know the needs of their fellows in the large and growing millennial target market.

The article advises managers to take extra care that millennials understand the mission before them. Managers must create a fast-paced, energetic culture that will ultimately benefit all working generations. The article ends with a list of ways managers can attract, retain and train millennials to the betterment of the company and its bottom line.

Source: Joanne G. Sujansky, Super Vision (Burlington); Oct, 2009

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