The phrase “millennials are lazy” is thrown around quite a lot because the older generation is not ready to accept the change that has occurred in the last 30 years. In workplaces and corporate specifically, the younger generation is criticized for their shortcuts and hacks and how they “refuse to listen” to their elders.
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They are asked to follow the decade-old decorum to fit in with their older executives and when they voice their concerns, they are not taken seriously because “the younger generation is whiny and they want everything handed to them on a silver platter”.
Yeah, it’s almost like millennials want to be treated as humans and not corporate slaves who work silently without complaining about any injustices. If you are a millennial who is working somewhere and you complain about the corporate culture around you, then the older people might claim that you do not have the temperament for a job.
This statement actually translates to how earning your place in the job market means two completely different things for both the generations. Millennials do not just want to survive in an obsolete structure where their skills are measured with a monetary value and they live without making any significant contribution.
In fact, with the awareness that has spread online due to the internet, more and more people from the younger generation look for a sense of purpose as they want to make a difference in the world. They complain about their employers because they want to see a change in the ways that cripple the corporate culture enough for it to never make any progress.
Emma Gannon, author of The Multi-Hyphen Method, a book about what the future of the workplace might look like says "We were sold a career ladder that doesn’t exist anymore," she said. "I think we looked at our parents’ generation and thought, oh OK, you get a job and then you move up the ladder, and then you want your boss' job, so you get promoted and you get a pay rise and it’s all great.” She further outlines in her book that “millennials would rather take a $7,600 (£5,700) salary cut to work in an environment that affords a better quality of life.”
So when employers expect their subordinates to remain silent and observe outdated regulations, millennials find it easier to quit working in a place that suppresses their creativity. Claire Jones, associate director of employee engagement at global PR firm Weber Shandwick says, "Millennials want to work for employers that show good corporate citizenship, are fair in their behavior, that communicate with openness and transparency, and that have values-driven leaders who really do walk the talk."
Therefore, what others mistake for a “sense of entitlement” among the younger generation is just their sense of integrity which Boomers could not develop because of the rigidity in the structure.
These differences are also rooted in the education system that has completely evolved in the last thirty years or so. Previously, students used to spend hours in the library researching for their assignments and this makes the older generation think that they are somehow wiser because they put in a lot of “effort”.
However, that is not the case. Technology has made it easier for students to just pick a website and find relevant content so they use their time for activities that are more productive than searching through books. Perhaps the inflexibility in the older generation sparks from their sense of superiority which makes them unable to accept modern techniques.
Now, debates and group research are encouraged as the methods to learn have changed and when millennials find out that their skills are not being fully exploited in a workplace that is still following the same old patterns, they are not quite impressed with the workplace culture.
So it is time for employers to redefine the decorum and regulations of their offices to accommodate the generation that is soon going to form 80% of the workforce. We already sense a revolution coming in as far as corporate is concerned and therefore, moving with times is the only sane option here.