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Why Managers and Millennials Don’t Get Along

The generation gap between Millennials and managers can create conflict in the work place. Baby Boomer supervisors and fellow employees sometimes view Millennials as entitled, disloyal and lazy, but this is often a case of miscommunication. Even with most managers tending to view their Gen-Y employees as having a poor work ethic, in contrast, most Millennials have a positive view of their managers. They see them as experienced, wise and as a mentor. With the Millennial generation entering the workforce at break-neck speed, today’s managers need to rethink their management styles to accommodate Generation-Y or risk losing the workforce of tomorrow.

Millennials are actually extremely hard working. From my interviews they value new experiences and are quick to take advantage of opportunities. Let’s explore the two most common myths associated with this generation.

Myth 1) Millennials Are Entitled.

Management may mistake the Millennial’s hunger for a challenge as entitlement. Reality is, Millennials want to do the best they can and be constantly challenged in order to quickly climb the ladder to success. Managers fail to realize the Millennials want to make a big impact and engage in professional opportunities that will improve their career.

Myth 2) Millennials Are Disloyal.

Many of the managers we surveyed believe Millennials are disloyal and unable to be trusted. This is partly true, however, often they are just misunderstood. Millennials will keep a job for 2 years, this is actually comparable to Gen X and Baby Boomers.

The reasons that Millennials leave their first job are different from those of their parents. From my research I have found that typically their management fail to set expectations and create a clear path to promotions. This is mostly due to the Baby Boomers not needing the supervision and nurturing that the Millennials often do. Managers should create a clear path to help Millennials understand how they can climb the corporate ladder, and how it will improve their career.

By understanding what Millennials want out of a position, we can dissolve conflict between managers and Millennials. Ask three questions often, 1) How is everything going? 2) How can I help you? 3) What’s your next career step? Managing Millennials is vital to the future of your company, otherwise you will lose the most talented members of Gen-Y to your competitors.

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About Joel Goldstein

Joel Goldstein is a world-renowned speaker, best-selling author and leadership consultant. Joel works with companies to develop systems that allow them to recruit, train & retain future leaders. He has spoken at meetings and conferences around the world training top executives communications strategies to effectively work with younger generations. He has been featured as an…