Ah, millennials! Lazy? Entitled? Narcissistic? or is it more like Hard-Working? Courageous? Loyal?
Through Choose Gratitude, I have presented on the dynamics within a millennial generation and conducted workshops on gratitude with teams predominantly comprised of this generation. Prior to this, I was lucky to learn and be a part of research conducted at Environics Research on millennials. Many researchers and influencers have shared their perceptions on this generation, with some describing millennials as entitled.
Through the research conducted for Project Gratitude, we found that there is a significantly higher proportion of millennials who strongly disagree with the statement “I feel appreciated at work”. Significantly more millennials do not feel appreciated at work. Does this stem from their entitlement or perhaps it is from the courage to actually voice their feelings? To speak up when they are dissatisfied, undervalued, or unappreciated, and to make changes in order to achieve more life satisfaction.
In a recent article, a leading consulting firm recognized changes stemming from this generation of workers, and decided to explore things further. PwC noticed declines in their younger generation of employees (i.e. high turnover), and conducted a study to understand their concerns. Over two years (2011-2012), they surveyed 44k employees all over the world. Surprisingly, “when executives at PwC stepped back, they realized that the concerns of the company’s youngest employees were not all that different from those of older colleagues.” They recognized that younger employees were not averse to working long hours, rather they questioned long hours at the office cubicle. Flexibility and wellness are core to the values of a millennial generation. As PwC learned, perhaps you can't take the stereotypes at face value, and it is worth digging a bit deeper through research to understand perspectives a bit more.
As a millennial, I have experienced a lack of appreciation in a workplace, and it was a primary factor in leaving a toxic environment. When working in an industry that does not abide by the typical 9-5, rather you go home when the work is complete, I found myself working 12 hour days, and commuting an additional 2 hours a day. While in a staff meeting, when a VP discounted my role to the team, and attributed my work to a colleague, I felt so disheartened, and absolutely undervalued. Worst of all, no one corrected her. I was stunned, deeply hurt, and felt so unappreciated. Appreciation is key to our personal and professional lives. It is why I am fueled to bringing gratitude to the forefront of our awareness in workplaces. It is a core component of our wellness, and I’d love to connect more if you would like to bring gratitude to your organization.
Check out this article on Medium for other myths about millennials that are debunked, such as being entitled, lazy, being disloyal, bad work ethic, bad parenting styles, and more.
Read the full research report for Project Gratitude here.
If you want to find out which millennial tribe you belong to, check this out!