Aside from being potentially deeply patronising, is there any truth in this or is yet another example of self-appointed experts creating an issue they can earn a few bob in consultancy fees from?
A recent PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) report describes clear differences with Millennials, including
- Only 18 percent of those surveyed expected to stay with their current employer for the long term, with over a quarter expecting to have six employers or more in their work life.
- 38 percent felt older senior management do not relate to younger workers, and 34 percent said their personal drive was intimidating to other generations.
- Career progression is a top priority for millennials, who expect to rise rapidly through the organisation. Competitive salaries came second place.
So, what is the real situation?
In 2012, a wide-ranging meta analysis (1) (i.e. analysing the results from multiple, different studies) looked at generational work differences in three key areas:
- commitment to the organisation
- job satisfaction
- intention to leave
Making a special case of a specific generation is misleading and unhelpful and creates yet another opportunity to foster difference, and pitch "us" against "them". It promotes a false need for organisations to provide more training and development to fix this "problem". The key message for employers is that you should not shape your management and recruitment strategies around different generational values. At least, not until there is real evidence that those differences exist.
So forget the "problem with Millennials". The iGen (Generation Z) generation however, could well be another matter... See our forthcoming article on Stress and Anxiety for further details .