Generation Lost

Matt Brewer
Contributing Writer
Direct Energy/Success Academy

vEveryone in the world uses or has used Google at least once in their lives. Google receives over 3.5 billion searches per day, or 40,000 searches per second. Do a search for Millennials in the workforce and there are 10,800,000 results that will populate. There are some articles about how Millennials will change the workforce as we know it, and other articles bashing Millennials and their values.

Millennials are known by many as the “Participation Trophy” generation. Almost every article bashing this generation discusses how Millennials spend their money on wasteful things such as the latest technology, overpriced coffee, and eating at the hottest new restaurants in town and don’t forget Avocado toast!

Manager’s will state that managing Millennials is a nightmare. They only want time-off, to be in a place that they feel is doing something that matters, and to be compensated what they feel they are worth. The underlying issue with all the negative press has nothing to do with the so-called Millennials, but the people who are managing them. We must face the fact that “WE GOT OLD” and now we are bitter that the newest generation in the workforce is potentially more educated, more adept at changing technology, and seem to have a connectedness to society. In their words “They are Woke”

The feeling of losing grip on the workforce can strike fear in to even the strongest worker. The people who have worked their way from the bottom to their current positions, now are looking over their shoulders. So, instead of working to get better, we just look at their shortcomings and try to tell them that they don’t know anything because they have never experienced anything. We call them entitled and then wonder why we can’t find qualified people to join our business.

Instead of focusing our energy on the next clever thing to put them down, we need to start reaching out to them for assistance. We must come to terms that Millennials are changing the workforce, in a positive way. How we do business now, will not be the way we do business in 10 years.

We must start engaging these younger workers and give them important tasks to complete to satisfy their need for doing things that matter. If we continue to treat them as lesser employee instead of the future, we are going to continue cycling through employees and never grow. We need to take some time to learn the things that we don’t understand so we can change with the times. But where do we start?

Start with getting to know your employees on a personal level, what are their likes and dislikes? What motivates them? Who do they wake up and go to work for every day? Once, you have the relationship with them, you must work to keep them engaged. Make it a point to meet with them weekly to see where their head is and what can be done to improve their situation. Set goals with them, help them achieve those goals. Get their opinions and feedback and take it seriously. Remember they are the future of your company!

Some reading this are probably thinking, “I’m not going to coddle these people, I have a business to run!” The coddling period doesn’t last forever and over time trust will form and they will work because they want to, not because they must work.  Once that happens, people will start to take on a leadership role and take your business to a new level

As John Milton wrote in Paradise Lost; “Awake, arise or forever fall’n.” Take the steps necessary to retain the Millennials now, because in a few years you will have the pleasure of watching those same Millennials complain about the next generation coming in to the workforce.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *