Those darn Millennials…
Spoiled. Entitled. Avocado toast. These terms have all been attributed to Millennials. However, much of the information out there is greatly exaggerated. Before we can manage millennials, we must understand who they really are.
The Millennial Generation- The Ongoing Crisis
Millennials were born in the early 80's to late 90's. Floppy disks, pagers, and dial-up internet were the zeitgeist of the time. We were raised to believe the world was our oyster, and going to college was the only way we could achieve our dreams (afternoon specials anyone?).
Then it happened. The Great Recession of 2008. Many of us were just starting our careers, brimming with the promise that our newly minted degrees would grant us opportunities to succeed in the workplace.
We simply needed to try harder, take lower paying jobs and work our way up. That may have worked for the Baby Boomers, but it doesn't work with the Millennial generation.
Job opportunities started to dry up with more and more Baby Boomers staying in the workforce than ever before. The promotions we expected were delayed or scrapped due to budget cuts. The student loan companies started calling, and we desperately tried to figure out how to pay $440 a month when our salary was $10/hour with no prospects of a promotion or a pay raise.
The millennial generation was floundering, but the finger was squarely pointed at us. We simply needed to try harder, taking lower paying jobs and work our way up. That may have worked for the Baby Boomers, but it doesn't work with the Millennial generation. Companies move labor overseas or hire temps to keep costs low. Entry level positions want several years of experience.
We lost the training programs that were once part of all companies. This is how the Baby Boomer generation flourished, and why they were able to stay with one company for most of their lives. Now candidates are expected to have several degrees, certifications, and experience.
Training "Up"- How to Manage Millennials
How can Millennials get experience if companies aren't willing to train? We need to change this dynamic in order for them to thrive in the workplace.
Training "up" means training people to move up in the organization. This is how to manage Millennials in a 21st century workplace. Providing opportunities to get experience on-the-job is what Millennials crave, but very few companies offer such programs. Some companies who have these programs are only providing lip service and don't truly give millennials what they need. So they move on, and then are labeled as job-hoppers.