Our Millennials: Not Just An Anomaly
By northwestpr41454886, Dec 30 2016 07:39PM
Many of you have seen the video with Simon Sinek that seems to be everywhere at once on Facebook about Millennials in the work place. While I have no quarrel with Simon (I'm currently reading his book "Leaders Eat Last") I'm finding a lot of the conversations surrounding the topic of the Millennial workforce to be broadly overreaching and generalized. There are some extremely positive and redeeming qualities about Millennials that often get overlooked.
At the company I help run, Northwest Professional Services, I've found that the technicians we employ fitting this age demographic are fiercely loyal among other desirable characteristics. They have strong work ethics that are driven by a desire to learn and advance when given an opportunity to not just specialize in a particular skill but also invest in the process of developing and innovating existing workflows. This speaks to the research stating that Millennials have a deep desire to for a stake in the outcome of decisions. Our Millennials have consistently show a knack for improvising in situations that require out of the box thinking which I have personally found to be a soft skill that is very difficult to train.
For the record, I'm proud of the team I get to lead and manage every day and I find them to be full of energy and passion that comes through in the way they engage with our customers and really invest fully in creating relationships with both customers and each other as team members. I feel like Simon nailed the real discussion in that video when he finally gets to the guts of the real conversation at 11 minutes, 30 seconds… stating that it's up to us as business owners and managers to be the leaders that this generation deserve. We need to work harder to connect with them and draw out the potential they hold. I can attest to this firsthand in seeing Millennials really shine in the work place when they are properly invested in.
Here's a FB comment I just wrote about that. As far as I'm concerned criticizing Millennials for any entitlement attitudes they may exhibit without larger reflection, as though they came up with their entitlement mentality in a vacuum, amounts to child abuse. It's like spanking a child for crying when the child is cold or hungry.
In fairness to Millennials however, I would assert that whatever entitlement they manifest didn't happen in a vacuum. They learned it from the examples set for them not just by their parents, but by their grandparents and in some cases their great grandparents. Pete Peterson, now pushing ninety, is most critical of his own cohort and shows how much their entitlements - non-means-tested benefits awarded to people who don't need them (including the mortgage interest & health insurance deductions) - cause national deficits and debt. Really it's classic child abuse to point at Millennial entitlement behavior without acknowledging where or how they learned it. Millennials look at the burden passed onto them by previous generations and say to themselves, "WTF?" In 1993 Peterson warned of inter-generational conflict back when the debt was a mere four trillion. Now we reap the whirlwind.