Enough about Millennials

by Ben Wright

Another day, another fluff piece about Millennials. This time it’s from The Atlantic, with the Millennial-friendly clickbait headline “Do Millennials Make for Bad Employees?” Full disclosure before I continue: yes, I am a Millennial. And yes, I found this post on social media. And, yes, I clicked on it solely because of the headline.

To be fair, the article in question refutes the claim that my generational coworkers are the lazy, entitled, narcissistic whiners the Internet (and relatives at the holiday dinner table) purports us to be. Survey after survey of both workers and executives bust these Millennial myths, but still these articles appear, like the heads of the Hydra. And still we click on them.

According to our own research of Millennial and non-Millennial employees worldwide, differences in job goals and satisfaction between the two groups are negligible. For Millennials, the most important factor to job satisfaction isn’t making a positive difference in the world or having dry cleaning delivered to their desks.

It’s the same as everyone else: competitive compensation and bonuses.

So perhaps all this worrying about whether Millennials will upend the workplace is a bit misplaced. That’s not to say it should be business as usual. Our Workforce 2020 study uncovered a statistic that should make employers and employees alike uncomfortable: worldwide, only 39% of employees report being “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with their jobs.

Now there’s a headline I wouldn’t mind seeing day after day on my News Feed.

Ben Wright supports global research studies for the Thought Leadership group. He has developed and supported projects on subjects including cloud computing, workforce development, risk management, and the future of money.