Employers have a right to expect the best from staff, no matter what their background or age. But they also have a duty too to listen and adapt
THERE is much talk about millennials and how different they are. Unfortunately, a lot of the overused descriptions are negative. Millennials are often deemed to be selfish, with an over-the-top sense of entitlement and short attention spans. The list goes on. Now I’m not putting myself out there as a defender of this generation born between 1980 and 1995, loosely described as ‘gen Y’ or ‘millennials’. I am however raising a point about how we manage our people.
As employers, we are entitled to maximum productivity from our people. We spend a lot of money on payroll and as with any investment, we deserve a return on that.
Far too many of us, though, see payroll as a cost to be managed downwards. But in these days of almost full employment, that just won’t cut the mustard any more. We have to think and act differently.
Is it fair to single out millennials as being so different? Isn’t it likely that ‘baby-boomers’, born between 1945 and 1965, were different to their parents? What about ‘gen X’, born between 1965 and 1980, when personal computing was in its infancy and comfort with technology was a growing pre-requisite for employment? Millennials, as we know, were the first generation to grow up with an abundance of technology and a changed workplace. But let’s not forget that they had just started in their careers when the great global recession took hold. They inherited that reality.
‘Gen Z’, born between 1995 and 2015, are a whole different