Whether they are called Millennials, Digital Natives, or Generation Y, people under the age of 30 are typically portrayed as having unrealistically high expectations for their career and over-inflated sense of their abilities. They are lazy, lack emotional intelligence, and don’t take criticism well. But they can be easily won over by the latest gadget.
These generalizations make for amusing reading but they aren’t very useful to a Gen X manager trying to recruit more Millennials into the workplace. After a fair amount of research, I’ve come to the conclusion that just about everything we’re told about Gen Y isn’t true. To borrow a phrase I came across, Millennials are misunderstood, misinterpreted and misinformed.
I’m a big fan of myth busting and found two great articles that help dispel myths about millenials. Both Strategy+Business and MonsterThinking encourage employers to “forget what you think you know about your Gen Y employees.” Here are their top myths about millenials and a dose of reality:
Myth: Millennials don’t want to be told what to do.
Myth: Millennials lack organizational loyalty.
Myth: Millennials aren’t interested in their work.
Myth: Millennials are motivated by perks and high pay.
Myth: Millennials want more work–life balance.
Myth: Millennials are apathetic.
Myth: Millennials have trouble finding jobs.
Myth: Millennials think they’re smarter than you were at their age.
So what does this all mean?
I’d be foolish to generalize how to deal with millennials just like you’d be foolish to believe the standard myths. There is one thing I know for certain:
If you create an environment that listens to your employees and values their contributions, you can attract candidates from any generation.
Follow me on twitter @jbecher.
This blog was originally posted on Manage By Walking Around.
We glorify leadership and encourage everyone to be leaders. There are hundreds of books on leadership, a plethora of expensive leadership consultants, and even a pithy saying about being the lead dog in the sled.
But we can’t all be leaders. After all, then there would be no one to follow the leaders. And without followers, leaders cannot implement any change.
But isn’t it easy to be a follower? Don’t you just do whatever the leader tells you to do?
Read the full blog post in Managing by Walking Around.
Yes, you can keep on keeping on with conservative, boring marketing communications. Or you can truly engage business people the way they like to be dazzled in the rest of their lives.
Listen to Rick Mathieson’s audio interview with Jonathan Becher here
In the book “Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter”, Liz Wiseman and Greg McKeown analyzed data from 150 leaders and categorized them as Diminishers or Multipliers. Diminishers drain energy from everyone around them, reducing commitment and focus. They need to be the smartest ones in the room, killing off ideas and innovation. Multipliers, on the other hand, amplify others’ intelligence and abilities. They inspire people to overcome obstacles, to generate new ideas, and to deliver results that surpass expectation.
Most of us view work as a kind of economic transaction: people exchange labor for financial compensation. Depending on the job, increased quantity of labor (number of hours) or increased quality of labor (bonus or promotion) results in increased compensation. However, there is an increasing amount of research that shows that we are motivated not so much by money as by our social needs for status, certainty, autonomy, relatedness, and fairness.
While people sometimes use the word ‘family’ to describe their work colleagues, neuroscience research makes it clear that our brains experience the workplace as a social system. Social interactions often decide whether an employee stays at a company; positive reinforcement from our boss or peers can improve our mood for an entire day. In contrast, lack of social interaction with peers and a non-supportive or critical environment are often cited as the primary reasons for leaving a job. (more…)