Myths About Young Workers

Most business leaders have noticed how employees, especially the young ones, behave in recent years. Most of them consider this as a negative trend. They think that young people today have too much entitlement, not enough loyalty, no work ethic, self-centered, etc. However, things aren’t always what they seem.

The Millennials (those born after 1980) are completely different from Gen Xers (those born between 1965-1979) when they were young. They operate in this world with a completely different perspective, including how they view loyalty, time, and success. However, the younger ones do recognize all of these concepts and value them in very important ways.

The key to your company’s success is to understand how the Millennials view the world and use that knowledge to motivate them in a way that works. Here are some known myths about the young workers today and how you can tailor your workplace to meet the needs of you, your employees, and the organization.

They have no work ethic

In reality, the younger generation has a self-centered work ethic. Although this can be viewed as a negative at first, but they just do work differently. The young ones today have not been raised in a way that demands them to look around and see what should be done next.

Instead, they go about figuring the best and fastest way to complete their tasks , then they consider themselves done. They consider their job as a way to earn enough money to have fun in their free time.

So rather than being frustrated about how your youngest employees are not interested in climbing the corporate ladder, embrace their motivation and use it to your advantage. Motivate them with reliable spending money as long as they work efficiently and exceed your expectations of them, with promises of promotion and additional titles along the way.

They don’t want to put in the hours to get ahead

While Baby Boomers (those born between 1945 to 1960) tend to see time as something to invest, both Gen Xers and Millennials view time as a valuable currency that should not be wasted. They demand work-life balance and paid time off, putting the job behind them once they are done. Millennials do not look too far into the future, instead focusing on the "now."

They learn from the world around them that nothing is a guarantee-with all the nationwide layoffs, war, and soaring divorce rates-and there’s not a lot they can count on. To reach the Millennial worker, you need to show certainty.

Tell your young employee that you have a plan, in a timeframe short enough that they can envision. Prepare to build your promise that you should keep. Reward small successes along the way and string those milestones together.

They have no respect for authority

The Millennial workers do have great respect for their leaders, but they don’t respect them for the sake of loyalty. For them, every ounce of loyalty and respect must be earned. But when it is earned, it is given fiercely. In reality, loyalty to the individual is the main reason why Gen Xers and Millennials stay in the job, especially during the first three years.

The reason they quit the job is that they are dissatisfied with their boss. In order to increase retention, managers should prove to their employees that they are the right person to win their affection by being an advocate for them, being close, caring, and aware without being too casual and social.

They don’t want to grow up

The Millennials actually don’t know how to grow up. They face a delayed adulthood, marrying later in age, having children later, and just facing the real world later. This is in part because that is how they were raised by their Baby Boomer parents, with a tendency to coddle their children and use their own good fortune to make sure their kids do not face adversity.

At the same time, their parents work long hours in a way that made the Millennials less likely to follow their parent’s footsteps. To deal with this unique psyche of their, don’t waste time wishing they are different.

Take this new understanding and use it to reposition how you interact, motivate, and reward you young staff. For instance, provide individuality in their attire even if they are required to provide a consistent standard of service and performance.

Remember that attitudes towards work, life, loyalty, and respect will change over time, but each is still considered valuable.

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