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Who is "responsible" for fixing the "Millennials" in the Workplace?

Sidney Vianna

Post Responsibly
Staff member
Admin
#1
Very interesting interview which focuses on millennials, life in the digital world, social media and their work ethic. The one thing I don't agree with the gentleman is his solution that companies should be responsible for re-educating the young's generation work ethic.

 
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Michael_M

Trusted Information Resource
#2
The video is not coming thru, however, I am not a big fan of the mentality that any 'generation' needs to be fixed. I come from 'Generation X' and when I was a teen/early 20's they (the older generation) said that 'we needed to be fixed'. I think the older generations always say 'in my day we ...'.

“The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise.”

― Socrates
All that being said, I do not think it is the responsibility of the employers to teach work ethics unless they are desperate for workers.
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration with a Mask on...
Staff member
Admin
#3
This is an extension what happens in all generations. To wit, what I grew up with: "Back in My day..." (aka "When I was your age..."). My father many times explained to me how "easy" I had it after which came the "...first time I saw and airplane..." story and/or the "...we didn't have TV and telephones were a luxury..." speech. Then came the grandparents telling how they grew up and how easy my parents have it.

I'm not at all convinced that "millennials" are much, if any, different than previous generations such as the "GenX" people. People adapt to the technology and other aspects of their time.

Change a few sentences and this is my father talking to me in the 1950's.

I do also agree companies should be responsible for re-educating the young's generation work ethic, nor do I believe it is feasible. Then again, the video is essentially a "promo" by/for insidequest.com with "articles" such as "How to Get People to Follow You".

I do see this "millennials" complaint come up a lot in tech forums by some of the older people there from time to time. A common one is: "...you should have been around when we had to do a punch card for every program line..." (which I personally do remember having to do in the early 1970's when I took FORTRAN, PL1 and Cobol classes.) Then I think back to the 1980's when the movers and shakers wanted "bean bag chairs", free soda and snacks, couches and such (again, this is in the "tech" world).
 

Bev D

Heretical Statistician
Staff member
Super Moderator
#4
This particular video is quite popular on social media right now. I've seen it and it is clever. The speaker is quite good at speaking. The topic is timely but like Marc I take all of this "millennial stuff" as just a repeat of what the greatest generation said of the boomer generation (my generation).

In my organization we have several new grads. Half of them are hard working passionate and care about their careers. The other half are lazy, crazy and want everything handed to them...it was the same way when I entered the working world.

As for the technology it has pluses and minuses. In the early eighties, I was on top of the technology while my managers were behind - mostly because they couldn't type. :rolleyes: It allowed me to work longer hours and get more done...for some it became a new way to goof off. Smart phones, tablets and social media do the same thing today. *I* find Facebook and LinkedIn to be a great morass of ignorance and bullying (my New Years resolution is to never look at either ever again. I deleted the apps from all of my devices) but the internet in general provides much wider and quicker access to real knowledge if one wants to take the time to look. I don't find that the availability of technology or bean bag chairs changes anyone's natural tendency to hard work or instant gratification...
 

Ronen E

Problem Solver
Staff member
Moderator
#5
I agree that it is much up to the individual and I don't buy into the "gen" stuff. Every gen and time has its peculiar slant but it's basically always the same old same old.

I agree that companies are not responsible for making good; however they can facilitate a more productive and constructive work environment (and I'm not referring to bean bags etc.). Personally I hated cellphones in conference rooms long before social media and texting to death became so prevalent.

Added in edit: I have a theory that a work meeting that has more than 4 attendees, 5 at most, can seldom be productive - chellphones or not.
 
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Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Staff member
Admin
#6
It isn't your Uncle's work force anymore. That is, however not a condemnation. Young people are not work-averse, but they do have shorter attention spans. That is not a problem with character, it is a result of the media diet each subsequent generation is subject to. Young people also have more trouble with being patient when confronted with nonsense.

If young people have little patience with bureaucracy or thankless slog, is that a sign of poor character either? I think not, I suggest it is a good time for organizations to try harder to do away with the silliness that keeps Scott Adams so busy with his Dilbert strips.
 

Ronen E

Problem Solver
Staff member
Moderator
#7
Young people are not work-averse, but they do have shorter attention spans. That is not a problem with character, it is a result of the media diet each subsequent generation is subject to. Young people also have more trouble with being patient when confronted with nonsense.
I agree and disagree. I agree that in average young people have shorter attention spans. It's obviously not a character issue because I'm talking about the average (as I said above my stance is that at the individual level it is many times a character issue).

The part I disagree with is that this has something to do with the current times. I think that throughout the generations young people had less patience (Marc has put it well in his post above). It has to do with hormones, stamina, situation in life and outlook for the future - personal and professional. Patience, especially in the workplace, is built over time. I think the speaker in the video has mentioned it in a way. Unless you're one of the lucky few who are naturally patient and absorbing, you have to go through some experiences to take some edges off and learn to tolerate and cooperate, and the natural changes we go through as we age also contribute to settling down.
 
R

randomname

#8
I'm not at all convinced that "millennials" are much, if any, different than previous generations such as the "GenX" people. People adapt to the technology and other aspects of their time.

Change a few sentences and this is my father talking to me in the 1950's.

.
I agree. I laugh at some of the thoughts I have these days about the "younger folks."
 

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Staff member
Admin
#9
"The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers."

Socrates
 

TWA - not the airline

Trusted Information Resource
#10
I agree and disagree. I agree that in average young people have shorter attention spans. It's obviously not a character issue because I'm talking about the average (as I said above my stance is that at the individual level it is many times a character issue).

The part I disagree with is that this has something to do with the current times. I think that throughout the generations young people had less patience (Marc has put it well in his post above). It has to do with hormones, stamina, situation in life and outlook for the future - personal and professional. Patience, especially in the workplace, is built over time. I think the speaker in the video has mentioned it in a way. Unless you're one of the lucky few who are naturally patient and absorbing, you have to go through some experiences to take some edges off and learn to tolerate and cooperate, and the natural changes we go through as we age also contribute to settling down.
Jen, Ronen,

totally agree with the comments about shorter attention spans (I'm a parent:D) and the general lack of patience in young people (vividly remember myself being so;)). However, I also do think things are different in current times. Nowadays companies need knowledge workers, not the hired hands of old so I think it is only natural that, as you cannot (and probably also would not want to) switch off your brain at will, employees nowadays have less patience for things like senseless rules of the "We've been doing things that way for 20 years"-type. You cannot manage knowledge workers with the old command&control method, expecting them to think when doing their actual work like coding or creating the architecture but being mindless order-followers all the rest of the time...

P.S. Maybe in former time it was not really patience with the system, but rather resignation...
 
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