Can Gen Y Shake Its Bad Rap at Work?
NEW YORK ( MainStreet) The more things change, the more they stay the same especially when it come to the seemingly timeless perception the younger generation is lazy and doesn't work as hard as the ones before.
According to a recent survey conducted by American Express and the consulting firm Millennial Branding, most managers are looking down on the newest generation of workers, Millennials.The survey shows 51% of supervisors feel Gen-Y employees have unrealistic compensation expectations, while 47% say they have a poor work ethic and 46% say their newest generation of employees are easily distracted.
Dan Schawbel, founder of Millennial Branding and author of the forthcoming Promote Yourself: The New Rules for Career Success (St. Martin's Griffin, 2014) said the perception of Gen-Y employees as lazy and non-attentive is ingrained into employers' minds before they even are hired.
"It's because the media portrays Millennials that way and managers see that and already have a poor impression of them," Schawbel said.
"Gen-Yers are crucial to the development and growth of our economy, yet managers have a negative impression of them and it's creating workplace drama," Schawbel added. "Managers should be setting proper expectations, giving them career support and help them develop the skills they will need today and in the future."
On the flip side, Gen-Yers also called Millennials and a reference to those who were born between 1982 and 1993 have a slightly warmer view of their employers. Almost 60% of Gen-Y workers believe their managers can offer experience, while 41% say they can dispense wisdom and a third of them say their supervisors are willing to mentor.
Social media may only increase the divide, according to the survey. Gen-Y employees say they should own the rights to their own social media profiles even if they use them during work hours, but fewer managers agree. While 54% of managers said Millennials should have the rights to the profiles, 69% of Gen-Yers said they should own them themselves. Only 16% of supervisors view using social media profiles to actively contribute to online industry conversations as either very important or extremely important.
"We live in a world where digital and social media have completely changed the way we connect with our customers," said Valerie Grillo, chief diversity officer at American Express. "The companies that figure out how to successfully market to and attract Millennials will be primed for success in this increasingly competitive business environment."
Gen-Yers and managers, however, may soon become one in the same. Another study this one by EY, formerly Ernst & Young showed a large shift in both Gen-Xers and Gen-Yers moving into management roles in the past five years. The survey shows between 2008 and 2013 alone, 87% of Gen Y managers surveyed took on a management role, while 38% of Gen X managers did likewise. Only 19% of Baby Boomer managers became managers in that five year period.