In the news this week, John Winning (CEO of Winning Appliances) threw caution to the wind and unloaded on what is likely to be his business’key customer base over the next 20 years calling them ‘crazy’ and saying while his company employs some great millennial workers, they are ‘few and far between’.
Researchers and popular media use the early 1980s as starting birth years and the mid-1990s to early 2000s as ending birth years, with 1981 to 1996 a widely accepted definition. (Wikipedia)
At the age of 35 himself does this make it acceptable that he attacks ‘his’ generation?
One could argue that as he had a fairly privileged upbringing & exclusive private school background then slotting almost immediately into the family business he is not a typical millennial at all.
So are millennials really ‘afraid of hard work’ and expect too much from employers?
I say no.
“Every generation brings something new to the workplace, and millennials are no exception. As a group, they tend to be highly educated, love to learn, and grew up with the Internet and digital tools in a way that can be highly useful when leveraged properly.”
Millennials are certainly very different to earlier generations – as an employer it is quite easy to look at their choices & behaviours and decry that the sky is falling down.
I am sure that many employers in the sixties experienced the changes forced on them by women beginning to demand a better deal and lamented the past.
I know that many employers in the eighties & nineties saw equal opportunity legislation as tieing their hands to hire as they saw fit.
Employers always see change as difficult & challenging and all too often they weep for the ‘good old days’
John Winning (far from a typical millennial I am sure) and every other employer would be well advised to look at their company’s environment, hiring practises, policies and rewards and re-engineer their businesses (like all of us older employers had to in the past) to take advantage of the generations that will represent his customers and staff from now on.
In creating our current products, realizing that millennials were likely to be our key users, we set about determining what made them tick and how to provide value to them in the workplace.
As I have personally employed many hundreds of millennials I realize that it can take a while to become use to this new paradigm but John Winning, it will be worth it!