Should Millennials Suck it Up in the Workplace?
Are you struggling to understand the Millennials in the workplace? Do you think the Millennials need to suck it up and adapt to our culture? Heck, we have been successful with our business model for years. Who do they think they are to try to change it?
I used to think this too! I am a Gen Xer business owner, with decades of experience in IT and finance, and the Millennials have shocked me! My initial reaction to the Millennials was that they need to grow up, suck it up and adapt to the business world. As I hired Millennials, I found I also had to fire Millennials or they left.
I started talking to clients about the Millennials and the stories I heard were crazy. One executive told me a story about a new hire that met with the CEO during an interview. The Millennial asked the CEO, "what are my opportunities for advancement here?" The CEO said, "Well I am not going to work my entire life, so work hard to learn the business and you could have my role."
Six months after being hired, the Millennial walked into the CEO’s office and said, “Okay I am ready.”
“Ready for What?” responded the CEO, who had been in the business for 30 years.
“For you to retire.” I would have loved to see the CEO’s face when he heard that.
Where did these entitled, spoiled kids come from and when will they get it? The more stories I heard the more intrigued I became. I started researching the Millennial generation. After reading all the books I could find, I interviewed executives, managers and Millennials. One of the books I thought very informative was, The Millennial Myth: Transforming Misunderstanding into Workplace Breakthroughs, written by Crystal Kadakia, a Millennial. Even my favorite author, Simon Sinek, who wrote Leaders Eat Last and Start with Why, is discussing this topic. (Simon Sinek's Millennial Video) But, as with every good topic, there are two sides of the controversy and according to Jared Buckley, a Millennial, Mr. Sinek is over generalizing. Jared Buckley's blog