We are all familiar with rivalries…Republicans vs Democrats. Texas vs Oklahoma. Yankees vs Red Sox. However, a new rivalry has emerged in the last decade that is causing major problems: Millennials vs Corporate America. Business owners, managers, and recruiters love to express their disdain with Millennials in the work force while Millennials love to roll their eyes at angry old people that do not understand what it is like to live in 2019.

We recently had a client come to us with a unique issue. Their newly hired “Millennials” are picking and choosing when to come to work. They will take a couple days off without telling anyone, then show back up as if nothing happened. As Jason Bateman says in the movie Dodgeball, “that is a bold strategy, Cotton.”

How do you fix this? Better yet, how do you TRAIN for this? Are millennials the problem, or could it possibly be the people that are in charge to train them?

Well, in my mind, I think the first thing you must do is understand what goes on between our ears. Luckily for you, you have a Resident Millennial who can give you a little insight! With each point, I will pose a question at the end I would like you to consider as it relates to that topic. FYI, this is a little lengthy, so lock in.

Let’s look at the 3 fundamental issues that create a disconnect in today’s workforce:

  1. Entitlement: Similar to Instant Gratification like we discussed last month. This is a big buzz word when talking about Millennials, and I think it can be traced back to a person’s up-bringing. We have this innate feeling that all of these companies NEED us. There is nothing wrong with being this confident, but only a small percentage of employees can actually turn that confidence into results.

Our parents, who were triggered by tough love and forced to go get what they want, overcompensated when raising their Millennial kids. You all should be nodding in agreement. These parents propped their kids up from Day 1. Everyone’s kid was the next Bill Gates and destined for greatness. Unfortunately, these Millennials have misconstrued that praise as a sense of entitlement. They graduate college thinking “this company needs me, I am great, my mom told me so.” Sure, they might be great, but everyone is replaceable and that is a concept this generation has yet to grasp.

Do you have the right managers in place to handle this type of personality? My previous manager was a micro-manager who liked things his way. I felt entitled to do the job that was conducive to my work style; not my managers – as long I reached the end point he desired.

  1. Lack of Accountability: I was a straight A student growing up and ended up with a 3.5 GPA while getting my Finance degree. I will admit this lack of accountability started creeping in during my three years at University of Houston. 3 years…you might think I am smarter than I let on…nope, just cheap.

College is where we are on our own without any push from parents. We set our schedule and we do things when we want to do them. It is a liberating feeling and our once structured life turns into creating bad habits. Missing classes and rationalizing doing the bare minimum to get that passing grade. This trickles into Post-Grad, work life. Our client has employees who go missing because in their mind, as long as they complete their work, why do they need to show up. It worked in college, surely it should work at a job. They pay me to get the job done, right? Wrong.

Do you set expectations with new hires in an effort to provide structure in their daily work life?

  1. Lack of Awareness: There are tons of unwritten rules in Corporate America, but who actually teaches us? The education won’t even teach us how to balance a check book or do taxes, you think it is going to teach us the proper behavior in Corporate America? We have to figure things out on our own through trial and error. And what happens when you hire someone that is a slow learner and/or just “doesn’t get it”?? You get a workforce that thinks it is alright to go M.I.A during the work week. 

How can you teach this during your onboarding process? Can you test for this? 

Because of these elements, your pre-employment screening process is more critical than ever before.  

  • Ask questions about their understanding of acceptable behavior.
  • Use pre-hire testing to best understand what kind of training will help accelerate their assimilation into the culture.
  • Set clear expectations during the onboarding process.
  • Hire managers that have the emotional intelligence to understand their workforce and coach them in the best way for the individual. 

Seems like a big ask for many companies – but that is why you have me.

I have the resources to make this an easy process for you.  Call me some time and let’s talk about it.

Executive Report: How to Use Pre-Employment Assessments with Millennials

n 2016, millennials became the largest US generation in the workforce, overtaking both the baby boomers and Gen X generations. This changing of the guard has created disruption, both intentionally and inadvertently.

View Now
Ethan Painter

I have been a Client Services Manager at eSkill since 2017 and I am involved with multiple industries. I was born in California, raised in Waco, and attended the University of Houston where I received my Bachelors in Finance with a minor in Risk Management. There is nothing more gratifying in this job than helping my clients mold their hiring process to work for them. In my spare time, you can find me on the golf course trying to regain my old form from the glory days in high school.

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  • Executive Report: How to Use Pre-Employment Assessments with Millennials

    n 2016, millennials became the largest US generation in the workforce, overtaking both the baby boomers and Gen X generations. This changing of the guard has created disruption, both intentionally and inadvertently.

    View Now

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