By: Glenn Pasch
Funny how I keep reading posts about the problem with the new generation. How they are clueless, nothing motivates them, bad attitudes etc.
Funny because I can say that about a lot of people who are not millennial. I am sure your parents said the same thing about your generation. I know mine did. “Long haired, lazy kids, with their loud music and no respect for authority. The need to get a haircut and learn the value of a good day’s work.”
Sound familiar my fellow 50-year-olds?
Stereotyping is always a lazy way of handling issues. Easy to say that a whole group is good or bad. The news cycle is filled with this. Short attention spans, easy to digest. No need to think deeply.
Many people who are complaining about the work ethic of millennials are not even in positions of leading this new generation of workers. Easy to complain without wanting to get involved in helping them produce results for your company.
In my company over half of my workforce is under 30. They do a fantastic job and these people excite and educate me. I love being surrounded by them.
Did every millennial I hired work out? No but a lot of “seasoned” veterans with claims of how hard they would work and the results they would deliver failed to impress me as well.
So what is up with these young adults. We can discuss the theories but I have come to a few realizations that help me with any of my employees or teams I coach.
Either you want to work or you do not
Either you respond to training or you don’t
Either you can do the job or you can’t
Notice nothing here is about age, race, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs. Nothing.
Yet many of you want to group people together because you are a crappy boss not willing to put in the work on your end. Let me ask you:
How is your hiring process at finding the right people for your company?
How is your initial training process so they are prepared to deliver results?
How is your ongoing training to keep them producing?
How is your personal accountability to your team?
If these all work, then you should have a good team and garner great results. If you are lazy on any of these, you have problems. Stop blaming others. Look at your actions first.
A friend spoke about his young staff this way. “Nothing seems to motivate them. Not money, not perks. They are more focused on work life balance.”
And that is odd because…..?
Remember, some of these kids saw their parents bust their asses for years only to have their jobs taken away. They saw their parents believe in a company because they were promised salary, bonuses, perks if they worked hard, worked overtime, put in the effort. And then they get the pink slip when they reach a certain age, because it is cheaper to hire someone new.
And you want them to devote their life to you? I want my employees devoted to me as long as they are with me but I am under no romantic illusion that people will work for me forever.
People complain that millennials are used to having opinions, always have to be told why they have to do something and like to be involved in the process. And this is bad why….?
The days of telling employees this is the way, do it or else, are done. We all hated it as kids, I know I did and still do and I am far from being a millennial. Actually at my age I could be two millennials.
My advice to my friend was to be very clear with expectations, give his employees weekly/daily feedback, ask them what they feel is working and then be there for them as long as they work there. Be a coach not a manager. There is a huge difference.
I told him this is what he should be doing for all employees if he wants a great team.
So stop blaming groups. Everyone is not one thing or another. You hate being labeled yourself.
Get off your ass, be a coach to your team, get involved with your employees as people. You may find out these “Millennial” have a lot to offer you. Maybe you will realize you were the one who did not want to work hard not them.