Blog | Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Millennials: demanding what all workers want?

It's only been a few years since the so-called Millennials (born 1980-2001) entered the workforce but their 'boomer' bosses are already pegging them as spoiled brats with inflated views of their own importance. Not surpisingly, that's causing tension in the workplace, according to an article in Tuesday's Wall Street Journal based on "The Trophy Kids Grow Up: How the Millennial Generation Is Shaking Up the Workplace," by WSJ contributor Ron Alsop. (ACP Internist has covered this issue from a medical perspective).

Aslop goes on to make some perceptive observations about how Millennials' proclivities are playing out in the workplace (jumping from job-to-job, expecting instant promotions, sending brash emails to the CEO) as well as possible sources of their elevated self-esteem (coddling by the boomers who are now their bosses). But in the end, what the Millennials want doesn't seem all that outrageous and in fact it's a bit sad that extending a few basic courtesies is viewed as "adapting" to unreasonable expectations. Tips for bosses include:
  • Show new hires how their work makes a difference and why it's of value to the company.
  • Listen to young employees' opinions, and give them some say in decisions.
  • Detail the career opportunities available to millennials if they'll just stick around awhile.
Isn't this how we'd all like to be treated?