The Reality of Generational Issues in the Workplace
The issues associated with Millennials in the workplace can no longer be ignored. It’s true that Millennials now dominate the workforce. However, in an era where Baby Boomers are very reluctant to retire and where the neglected members of Generation X are still well within their prime years of employment, generational conflict is something that all employers have to consider. Employers will be more effective at resolving these issues if they are able to confront existing stereotypes about Millennials in particular.
Millennials in the Workplace and Career Advancement
It’s widely believed that Millennials are largely uninterested in putting in the time and effort that it takes to excel in a career. Some people attribute this to the idea that Millennials prioritize their family members over their jobs, in spite of the fact that Millennials are less likely to get married and have children than members of previous generations. Other people attribute this to generational differences in work ethic. Some people believe that Millennials have overly high expectations for their workplace environments.
In reality, Millennials have often been unable to start career paths of any kind. The entry-level job of old has been replaced by the unpaid internship. Millennials crushed under student loan debt have been forced to work for free. Unpaid internships have frequently not led to real jobs, and they have sometimes made Millennials less employable down the line. The Great Recession is over, but it was largely older workers that benefited from the subsequent improvements to the economy. The research has also failed to produce evidence that Millennials are different from anyone else in terms of work ethic.
Meeting the Expectations of Millennial Employees
If anything, the employers who are able to provide Millennials with benefits and consistent and adequate salaries will usually get workers who are extremely motivated. Millennials do not take any of this for granted, since they typically started their working lives without benefits of any kind or even modest salaries. Employers often don’t have to go out of their way to accommodate Millennial employees. They just have to make sure that Millennials get what previous generations took for granted.
In addition to coping with record-breaking levels of student loan debt, Millennials are dealing with higher living costs than previous generations. A salary that might have stretched far when the Baby Boomers or Generation X members were in their twenties and thirties might be insufficient in a world where even the cost of food is higher. Underemployment is a crisis for the Millennial generation, and employers who go against this trend will get eager Millennial candidates right away.
Generational Conflict and Sensitivity
Millennials are very aware of how they are perceived by some members of the Baby Boom and Generation X cohorts. Some employees from these cohorts are happy to share these views publicly in workplaces. Employers need to recognize that this is a source of workplace conflict. In some workplaces, sensitivity training regarding ageism might be necessary. Getting an office environment set up for Millennial workers in a world where they are the majority partly means understanding the realities of this generation’s struggles. It also means finding ways to avoiding escalating the generational conflicts that have been going on for years.
If you are looking for an office to accommodate all generations including Millennials in the Workplace, Contact us. We can Help!