Gini Dietrich

How to Manage Millennials: Treat Them Like Adults

By: Gini Dietrich | April 29, 2015 | 

How to Manage Millennials: Treat Them Like AdultsBy Gini Dietrich

Right about this same time of year, in 2007, I made a job offer to a young professional.

He was about to go into his senior year of college and I invited him to join our intern program, which would give him the necessary experience he needed to graduate.

After our typical five rounds of interviews, I called him and made the offer over the phone. He accepted it.

I put everything in a formal offer letter and emailed it to him. Then the proverbial poop hit the fan.

His dad called me to negotiate the offer he and I already agreed to.

His dad.

When I politely told his dad that I would be happy to have that conversation with his son, he called me a few names and hung up on me.

Even though I was really angry, I decided to cool off and let it sit for a day or two before calling this young man to see what was up.

The next day, I was in a meeting—with the door closed—with my Vistage Chair when this young man’s father came bursting in my office, my assistant at his heels, pleading me with her eyes to forgive her.

He wanted—no, demanded—I pay his son a hourly wage equal to $60,000 in annual salary.

Remember, he hadn’t even graduated from college yet.

Back then, we paid our interns $10/hour, no matter who they were or what other experience they had. They also got a public transportation pass and we provided breakfast and lunch every day.

It was more than enough for someone who needed an internship to graduate. There was no way he was getting $60,000.

Thankfully my Chair was there or I’m not sure what would have happened, but we had to call the building’s security to get the man to leave.

And I rescinded the kid’s offer to come work with us.

Are We to Coddle Millennials?

I am reminded of this story every time I read an article about managing Millennials.

According to mass media, we are to coddle them, work with their parents, and give them opportunities the rest of the team—who are older and more experienced—do not have.

Grey Advertising, one of the best in the business (in my opinion), has created a space for Millennials, separate from the rest of the office.

In their New York offices, Grey created Base Camp, a work environment exclusively for Millennial associate account executives. While each employee still works with a separate team on client accounts, the group as a whole shares desk space, attends agency training in group, and learns from one another.

Likewise, IBM has created a recruitment process where parents have a say in their kids’ futures, as they go through the interview process.

While both seem like cool and hip things to do—and they both certainly have been PR coups—it sends the message that Millennials are to be coddled. That they can’t handle themselves as grown-ups like the rest of their colleagues.

What Millennials Want

Earlier this year, IBM did a study called, “Myths, Exaggerations, and Uncomfortable Truths.”

What it found is what we believe about Millennials is mostly wrong.

They aren’t the “lazy, entitled, selfish, and shallow” workers many believe them to be.

Instead, they want financial security and a diverse workplace. They want an ethical and fair boss who shares information. They want a line between work and personal lives, particularly online. They want to work in an innovative work environment.

This doesn’t sound all that different from what the rest of the workforce wants, does it?

Get Advice, But Frame it Properly

With the exception of the story I shared at the beginning, I haven’t had the experience that Millennials are lazy or have helicopter parents.

That said, there have been plenty of job offers that have gone out where I’ve heard, “I need to talk to my parents. Can I call you tomorrow?”

I don’t think that’s a function of Millennials, though. I think that’s a function of needing advice from someone who has been there, done that.

My sister just took a new job and she called me before she accepted to get some advice on salary negotiation, how to tell her current boss, and how not to burn a bridge.

I also don’t think she said, “Let me call my sister and I’ll get back to you.”

Sometimes it’s in how you frame the conversation, as Adam Toporek pointed out in yesterday’s blog post.

Treat Millennials Like Adults

On the contrary, here is what I have discovered about Millennials: If you set the rules, tell them what they are and what you expect, they will succeed.

If you leave it loosey-goosey and let them decide how to work, they will falter.

Not saying everyone in this age group will, but that’s been my experience.

If you need to have your parents help you negotiate your salary or your promotion, that is the first step on your way out the door…and everyone here knows it.

It doesn’t matter if you’re Millennial, Gen X, or a Baby Boomer. If you tell me your mom said you deserve a raise or that your parents have stopped paying your credit card bills so you need a raise to cover them—both have actually happened—you can pretty much guarantee I’ll show you the door.

We’ll never be IBM that creates a place for parents to have a say in their child’s career and we’ll never be Grey and separate the younger generation from everyone else.

What we will do is listen to everyone’s challenges and concerns, collaborate for better ways of doing things, and make everyone who works here live by the same rules.

After all, if you treat adults like grown-ups, they’ll act that way…no matter which generation they were born into.

photo credit: IBM Generational Study infographic

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • First, but off topic, I’d like to say that I was never paid for any internship and every time I hear you tell stories about paying and feeding your interns I’m blown away.

    Anyway…the questions always is do you want equal rights or special rights? Often I think what happens with millennials (and millennial wanna-bes) is they want special rights, but think they are asking for equal rights….hence the problems. So yes…you will be treated equally in context of your role, position, abilities, work output. But no, you won’t be treated equally to the CEO or other team members that work harder, are more talented, or have more experience and expertise then you do. 

    Those are special rights, not equal.

  • Great post. I don’t believe in coddling Millenials, nor do I believe that most of them actually feel entitled. Boomer and Gen X managers who wish to lead Millennials, must better understand Millennials’ culture and values. After all, one wouldn’t try to market to a specific demographic group, without first understanding them, would they?  The same applies in leading a group of employees. And as this is the largest and fastest-growing group in the workforce, does one really have a choice? There aren’t too many Baby Boomer AEs, as far as I can see.  

    Here’s an article I penned a few years ago, and I trust your readers who want to better understand how to lead and manage the Millennials in their workplace will find it helpful:

  • Sounds like the dad was desperate to get his kid off the payroll; you have to at least give him credit for that, huh? 

    It’s definitely a different group; I had to work pretty hard to get where I am and did not have parents paying my way. Subsequently, when we were able to take care of our kids, we did so. They have been good kids but we probably enabled them more than we should; there is certainly nothing wrong having to go out there and figure it out on your own. 

    I think as parents you just try to do the best you can and do hope your kids figure it out.

  • ladylaff

    I’m so glad you published that research comparing the generations. As an ‘X-er’ I have never felt any less idealistic, socially or technically aware than these newer generations. I always thought it was a big myth! I can’t believe the story about the dad coming into your office and you having to call security. Gini, seriously, when is the movie coming out?

  • We’ve had this conversation together before and I agree with you.. if you set the standard that they’re going to be coddled, that’s what they’ll expect. My first “right after college” hire quit without notice 6 weeks after taking the job – mind you she had interned with me AND worked part-time for me until she graduated. Did I expect too much from her? Maybe. Did it shock me? Absolutely. But I wasn’t as upset with her as I was with her parents because if my parents had paid for my college AND to move me into an apartment 1 1/2 hours away from home and I told them I was going to quit, they would have either kicked my tail or at least reasoned with me to go back and talk thru the issues.  It’s an ongoing challenge but I’m sure the Boomers felt the same way about us GenX-ers….

  • steve_dodd

    Hell Ya!!!!! Well said.

  • JamieNRutter

    I CANNOT believe all those anecdotes are real! So much secondhand embarrassment. 

    Echoing KristenDaukas, each generation probably feels similar frustration (and disappointment?) with the next. I think companies should update culture with the times, but that doesn’t mean coddling.

  • ladylaff Crazy, right? He was not a nice guy. You can probably picture him. The stereotype exists for a reason.

  • SarahinLanc

    I really appreciate this post. I am a Millennial and I’ve been working professionally for about 6 years. I think it is really important to note that there are plenty of Millennials who did not have their college paid for by their parents. Many of us have more school debt than the previous generations ( I am one of them. 

    I am also a first-generation college graduate. There was a lot that I did not know going into school and the workforce. I wish someone– my parents or mentors– had told me that I could negotiate my salary! 
    I struggle with balancing my creativity and understanding expectations. I really want to know, very clearly, what is expected of me; but also want to be able to explore/come up with new ways of exceeding those expectations.

    I think mentoring can really help– it’s not about coddling, it is about raising up a new generation of leaders.

  • susancellura

    Having worked with five generations in a company at one time, as a communicator, you truly have to know all of your audiences and what makes them tick. 
    On the flip side, I’ve worked with some millennials who want to work and some who want to gripe until they get their way. I focus on mentoring those who want to work, learn, etc.

  • Oh my gosh, your initial story! But, sadly I am not really surprised. Being a development shop, we have millennials on staff. For programmers, it’s inevitable. During our interview/hiring process over the last few years we have certainly had some say quirky requests. Quiet a few feel as though 1 day after graduating college they deserve in excess of that 60k you mentioned with zero employment history. Not only that, they want 4 weeks vacation, flex time, etc. Geez.  

    However, I will say this, if like you say you treat them like adults, with rules and boundaries they make great coders. They are smart, current and for us its a plus that technology is typically their hobby or way of life. They offer great ideas and are quick to implement them. 

    I think they need to just figure out that everyone doesn’t get a “participation trophy” and Mommy can’t stick up for you here. You need to get yourself to work on time, and take care of your own responsibilities. 

    In our industry its key to embrace the younger programers to keep ahead, they are using tech daily and see and think ahead more so that some old schoolers.

  • LauraPetrolino I would have worked just for the food…..

  • You know, the more posts I come across about millennials (and the internet is flooded with them), the more I realize that as much as millennials (and those who cater to them) want the rest of the world to believe they’re so unique from every other generation, there really isn’t much of a difference at all when it comes down to brass tacks.
    The world millennials inhabit is surely different – that’s about it. Human beings all share innate universal characteristics. Oh, and yeah, most people want to be treated like adults in the workplace. And as far as “If you set the rules, tell them what they are and what you expect, they will succeed”, you can certainly find this same practice written about in the management books of the 80s (success, however, is never guaranteed).
    Then there are the spoiled, lazy and entitled – surely every generation has had their fair share of these characters, yes?
    I’m not anti-millennial at all, mind you, but all these observations about them (and nobody loves to write about millennials more than millennials) is becoming – how can I say it? Rather sickening.
    Ultimately, millennials in the workplace will realize what every other working person of all the generations before them have realized – you either produce or you’ll be passed over or replaced. Simple as that. Oh, and to get that big promotion or to save their jobs, they’ll realize that despite their heralded generation, they’ll resort to the same underhanded, surreptitious and medieval tactics utilized by the generations that came before them.
    That’s human nature.
    I’ll slither away back under my musty rock now…

  • danperezfilms I am so sick of GenY and Millennials. It is a cottage industry stealing money from Brands making predictions that will never come true and attributing traits that are more related to their age than generation. And I have been pissing people off by stating this. What you said is dead on. 

    It is an age thing. Go to any point in time from 1800-2015 and I bet you the 15-25 year age dempgraphic is more connected, accepts technological change faster, and is more progressive than people older. Hell go back to 10000BC.

  • danperezfilms I tend to agree with you one that there are individuals that fit this bill in every generational group. 

    I will say this, the articles that get me are the ones that say we have to cave to their  (Millennials) demands or they  won’t work for us. Like letting them set their own hours or decide on appropriate work attire. On this, as a business owner I have a problem. Last I checked I am the owner, I set the hours and policies (no I am open to adult discussions and hearing ideas). That is where I think the coddling comes from. I attended a conference that discussed working with different generations and the presenter stated that Millennials parents always let them have input in EVERYTHING. And that they like to feel like they are contributing. Contribute away, but as newbies in to the adult workplace, it’s best to earn your lumps and climb the ladder by showing initiative, skill and communication not by setting demands.

  • They are just like we were at that age. Or vice versa. They will adapt. They have no choice. Businesses will adapt but they have more of a choice. In fact in 15 years when the bulge of GenY is pushing through as 30-50 year olds Business will have the upper hand because there will be no lack of workers and thus wages will be kept down. They will be able to name the price and work conditions as long as there are plenty of others willing to take that job. GenX on the other hand as soon as the Boomers start retiring it will be the reverse. We have less competition for the same positions giving us more negotiating power. Just don’t tell a millennial it will depress them.

    There are economic issues unique to different Generations for sure that we have to adapt too. Like recessions or the destruction of the social safety net or our massive national debt for example. But those things are a negative on GenY not a positive.

    I know we have associates on this band wagon, but I feel they just jumped on this as a cottage industry like social business and facebook marketing has been.

  • sydcon_mktg danperezfilms GO ISLANDERS! I mean Mets!

  • Howie Goldfarb sydcon_mktg danperezfilms Islanders! HA! How about them Cubbies (This is the year!), if not the Yankees are not doing too bad either!

  • sydcon_mktg That whole thing about employers “caving in to the demands of millennials” was surely started by millennials 😉

  • Howie Goldfarb The world has certainly changed. Human beings? Not so much. Now where are my Agnostic Front albums?

  • Howie Goldfarb sydcon_mktg All this millennial talk is starting to sour the good mood I’m in thanks to my Mets not sucking. 1986!!!

  • Erin Ferguson

    I am horrified at the Grey Advertising and IBM examples! Those programs would make me choose NOT to work there. I just can’t imagine my dad negotiating my salary with people I will have to work with everyday. My best work experiences come from having a strong mentor in the organization, and that most likely isn’t going to be coming from a fellow millennial.

  • What Erin said. Times a thousand. 🙂

  • KristenDaukas I actually think people forgot about Gen X. They’re so busy complaining about Millennials that they forgot there is a small generation in between the two. So you never had a conversation with this young lady about why she quit unexpectedly?

    P.S. Happy Anniversary!

  • I like turtles. I don’t care what age bracket you belong to, or demographic, or “generation” – if you like turtles, you’re OK with me.
    If you harangue danperezfilms, even better.

  • sydcon_mktg but it was always like that. You graduate and your expectations become sobered very quickly. 
    What shocks me I guess is the timing. I forgot the difference but graduating college during a recession like I did severely impacts your lifetime earning potential by a big amount. You wind up accepting less just to have a job and income. So anyone in GenY asking for the moon should be drug tested immediately.
    Most differences in generations are economic based. Like recessions/depressions/wars etc. Gen y kids living at home with their folks longer. That is economic vs what they prefer. You don’t choose to live at home if you have the money to live on your own.Even things like being more connected is economic based. Without mortgages and kids and spouses an other time sucks that working long hours requires you to afford… can be more connected. I use social media about half as much as I did pre-marriage and kids a few years ago.

  • Danny Brown I’m so confused. I thought it was sheep.

  • Erin Ferguson Heck, my parents didn’t even drop me off at college. I was on my own from the moment I started. I’m with you…I would DIE if my parents were part of my career.

  • belllindsay Why not a million? Or a billion?

  • danielschiller

    You’re always better off charting your own course — regardless of your demographic profile. 

    I’m not sure if my parents know where I went to school.

  • danielschiller

    bdorman264 LauraPetrolino I would’ve worked for retweets.

  • Danny Brown danperezfilms Piss off, Brown.

  • bdorman264 just glad I got to burningman before the Millennials took over.

  • KensViews I think the ‘data’ on millennials is skewed by people trying to make a buck as expert on the subject of millennials. The REAL experts already exist and have for a long time. They work at brands that target the current millennia age group. If you went to VANS or Mountain Dew or Honda or the Marvel Movie Makers….and asked them to give a description of millennials my guess is it would be much different than the marketing studies being done by mostly shoddy opportunistic marketers.

    I kind of feel they are being called ‘slackers; like GenX was but with different lingo.

  • danielschiller bdorman264 LauraPetrolino Paid internships is very industry specific. Any industry that got away with free workers never bothered paying them. I think the only ones who get paid internships are the students being targeted as top tier hoping they stay r come back.

  • I would comment on this post, but I have to talk to my parents first.

  • Adam | Customer Experience Alright, smarty pants.

  • danielschiller Let’s ask your mom! Should I tag her?

  • Howie Goldfarb Or another tech bubble burst, which is about to happen any day.

  • sydcon_mktg I think the Cubbies have another year or two of building. And THEN it’s our year!

  • sydcon_mktg I kind of want a participation trophy now.

  • susancellura But isn’t that the case with any other human? Some work really hard, some skate by, some complain until they’re heard…. it doesn’t matter how old they are.

  • SarahinLanc The salary negotiation is a topic we could discuss at length. I am always SHOCKED when women don’t negotiate. Men always do. Women rarely do. It’s not a generational thing. It’s like we were taught to be happy we got a job and that’s it.

  • JamieNRutter Right?! I almost wish we had an office again, just for the story value.

  • steve_dodd LOL!!

  • bdorman264 That’s a good point! He couldn’t get him off the payroll at $10/hour. That’s for sure.

  • danielschiller

    ginidietrich danielschiller Jeepers, please don’t! She’d just text me to save face.

  • danielschiller LOL!!

  • KensViews The interesting thing is that I tend to side on what people think of when they picture Millennials. I want a flexible work schedule. I want to wear my cycling clothes. I want to work from the beach, the mountains, or the coffee shop. I tend to use social media as my major form of communication. But I was born five years too early.

  • LauraPetrolino It’s actually against the law not to pay interns. LOTS of companies do it, but they shouldn’t.

  • danielschiller

    ginidietrich LauraPetrolino Some I’ve seen offer a stipend. That and $2 would buy you a coffee.

  • danielschiller

    Howie Goldfarb danielschiller bdorman264 LauraPetrolino Well, there’s they “pay them just enough to keep them co-dependent” model aka low-wage retail. And then “interns”, where the experience will keep you nourished?

  • JamieNRutter

    Erin Ferguson I’ll agree on the IBM front but as for Grey Advertising, I’d totally be into it if it was a camp-style set up for any employee who wanted to be more social, not just Millennials.

  • I am curious: did the kid father asked you what responsibilities his son would have or at least what was the job about? Or it was only “show me the money”???

    I am saying kid, because, when he was one. He didn´t take responsibility, he let others handle things for him.
    On the other hand, we like so much to categorize: Baby Boomers, Gen X, Y…etc, to fit into a pattern, but in the end it´s about individuals. Any generation has them: the ones who have goals and are willing to do the work to get the results and the ones who wanna skip the process and get the stuff for free.
    What I see is different compared to past generations and no one talks about it, is the tendency of parents to coddle their kids and to not let them find their way. And by that, I don´t mean: throw them out on the street to search for food, but make them responsible, let them take the initiative, let them fail so they can do better. What will it happen when you´re gone and they have no idea how to be adults?
    Sorry, but I don´t agree neither with Grey nor with IBM solutions. Treat your employees as equals and reward them for their achievements, not because they were born in the 80s!!!
    As for IBM, what if the kid wanted the job, but mommy did not agree, cause she wanted so much more for her baby??? Then, what?

    I believe, sometimes, we just like to reinvent the wheel just to have something to do!

  • CharlesStuartForstall

    Not sure what “mass media” this article refers too, most articles about “millennials” is in the same vein in this one. Most of articles, just like this one, seem to leave aside the class issue and seemingly come from the offices that demand the best pedigrees and the most arbitrary “qualifications”, all of which cost a pretty penny. 
    These articles, and all their hate, are in reality a study of a highly privileged sub-class of millennials. If you want to hire a poor millennial who will work for next to nothing and who will be highly appreciative of the opportunity you provide them you can – if that was your desire. When you set an arbitrary high bar to entry in the workforce you shouldn’t act so surprised that some of those passing over that bar likely had lots of help getting over the high bar you set. 
    Perhaps you should reconsider your “qualifications” for the job and decide if the internship is structured the right way. It might be worth it to consider hiring a “less qualified” individual who you might invest more in initially, but who might in turn respect your company for the investment it made in them, and not come with the attached “well-to-do-ness” that seems to be the hallmark of all articles that complain about millenials.

  • Hmmm……..your opening story was a doozy. If it hadn’t been for a millennial, I would not have been introduced to Twitter (at least not as early as I was) and WHERE WOULD I BE WITHOUT THAT?! // I think it is our tendency to categorize so many things but many people in the millennial age bracket don’t exhibit millennial behaviors. // I do think one dynamic contributing to the current helicopter parenting issues (myself included) is the instantaneous feedback – it is so easy to email a teacher, sometimes without thinking through how we really should react and/or making our kid take the time to figure it out. We even have access to their grades online instantaneously (which is good in many ways) and can fall quickly into micromanagement land (or I can at least).

  • CharlesStuartForstall Thank you for your feedback.

  • Corina Manea Nope. He didn’t want to have a productive conversation with me. He just thought his kid deserved more money and I was to give it to him. I think what we’re seeing goes to what is happening in the U.S. Parents are being arrested for allowing their kids to go to the park alone. We forget that, while the world was different when we were kids, we did walk to school alone. We did ride our bikes until dark. We did play outside until dinner time. No one was arrested for it. We’re so accustomed to play dates and overscheduling our kids that we forget to let them be kids.

  • biggreenpen Yes, where would you be without Twitter?!?

  • ginidietrich I did reach out to her one time but she chose not to respond. I had lent her a few of my (signed!!) books on social and marketing and she dropped those off on the office doorstep (when it was closed, natch) with nothing inside. That told me all I needed or wanted to know.

  • CharlesStuartForstall I have to ask if we’re reading the same piece. Nowhere does this post suggest “hate” (and I always smile when I see that word bandied around about blog posts – want hate? Try being gay in Jamaica, or a woman in Afghanistan, or native Canadian in some parts of Canada…)
    Nor did I see the post suggest there was an impossibly high bar for qualification.
    Instead, I saw a common sense argument (for ALL ages) that if you’re not taking responsibility for yourself, there’d be a question of how much responsibility you’d have for your job.
    It’s not about hiring less qualified to expect more investment in return. It’s hiring the best person for the job, which actually can mean being less qualified but bringing something different to the role. And – again – that’s for any age or generation.

  • scribblinghappy

    One book that might be enlightening is “People over Profit” by Dale Partridge. It’s not about millennials per say, but as one, he writes coming from the mindset of our generation. We’ve seen the stock market crash. We’ve seen companies crumble from greed. And we all firmly believe that spin sucks. What we long for is authenticity, creativity, and the chance to make a difference while earning an honest wage.

  • scribblinghappy

    ginidietrich LauraPetrolino Didn’t the law recently change? I remember when I was in college – no paid internships for me.

  • susancellura

    Interesting and good post. I’m glad I waited to comment as I had lunch
    with a millennial today. She is extremely smart, a go-getter, sweet,
    works hard, and is very conscious of the fact that she has been labeled.
    I shared your story in this post and she said, “Those are the bad apples!”. I replied, “all generations have them”.

    We talked about how many generations are in the workforce today and
    I’ll be helping her put on a discussion about the different generations
    working together – and understanding millennials – for businesses in our
    local area. We’re looking at the panel being made up of a company
    leader, a financial person, a communicator (cough), and a couple of
    others that can give different perspectives on what and how millennials
    are perceived vs what some actually do, i.e. “Boomerang kids”. We agreed
    that it will be a discussion that needs to allow all sides to both
    listen and share. Not sure when it’s going to happen, but…I think it’s
    a pretty decent idea for the local area.

  • ginidietrich I think Millennials AKA Gen Y, have much to teach us about the role of work in life, and life in work.

  • Howie Goldfarb I’m going to assume you’re calling me a REAL expert 🙂  For what it’s worth, I’ve done roundtables on the topic. Many of the Boomers seemed to want to learn how to manage and lead the Millennials in their organization. It was the GenX attendees who tended to call Gen Yers entitled or coddled, and actually seemed a bit angry that they needed to learn how to manage and lead them.

  • Cowgirl1007

    Really, all this shows is Millennial job seekers’ naiveté and lack of savvy in job searching.  As a Millennial myself, I learned a long time ago that, if offered the job, you say, “Can I have overnight /24 hours to think about it?”  You don’t mention that, of course, you’ll be talking to someone else about the job–whether it’s your spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, partner, parent, sibling, friend or whoever.  

    If you’re dumb enough to say “I need to talk to my parents about this”, then you don’t deserve the job.

  • steve_dodd

    Cowgirl1007 You know, blaming this in Millennial Attitudes is somewhat unfair. “xxxxx” number of years ago, I suffered from the same level of inexperience.  And, I’d be willingto guarantee everyone else did as well at a young age.

  • I feel as I gave said before its an age vs generation thing.and an economy thing. Inexperience. Naivete. Eager to start. Think you know better than your elders. Stuck at home from lack of economic opportunity.
    So many of their labels they will out grow as they get older.
    One reason GenY is viewed as brats is they have more time than us old people and social media gives them a platform if Genx or Boomers had social media and blogs we would of done the same. We complained just as much just limited to people offline around us
    I think that chary says it all. They are no different than us. The difference is the Millennial cottage industry of fraud and deceit.

  • SarahinLanc

    ginidietrich SarahinLanc Plus, I work in the nonprofit sector (which is mostly made up of women, except when you get to the top of the organizations)… there’s a lot of push back about budgets and “overhead”. I’ve tried negotiating and it works to a point, but I sometimes I don’t feel confident that I have the skills. This is one of the things that a mentor could really cultivate.

  • jamiebotzer

    The last sentence of this really hits it home. If you want employees to act like “grown ups,” the first step is treating them that way. It takes a strong manager and leader to properly set expectations up front so that employees know how to show up. 

    Entitlement as an attitude spreads across generations and, if left unchecked, can create an imbalance not only in the workplace, but in life. Great post!

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  • I am a millennial and I am shocked at the experiences you’ve encountered with my fellow peers. However, I probably shouldn’t be. I’ve always been told that I act more mature than my age, but I figured as I grew into an adult that would level out. Nope. 
    When I got my first job out of college (my current job at LawyerLocate), I was shocked with how impressed my bosses were with my work ethic. I thought, I’m just doing what is expected of me. But, I guess that’s not usually what people my age do. I’ve been on my own since Grade 12 so maybe that’s the reason I can’t imagine my parents paying my credit card bills or asking for them to negotiate my salary. 
    I totally agree with you ginidietrich on how millennials should be treated. I personally find that when there is so much freedom in the task I have been given I am unsure on the exact direction I need to take. I attribute this feeling to years of schooling where assignments were handed out with exact guidelines on how the task was to be completed and if the rules weren’t followed we’d lose marks and our grades would suffer. 
    I also feel that I work well in a setting where I can bounce ideas of others and learn from others rather than working quietly at my desk on a task with no outside influence. I attribute this to the nature of the advertising programs I took in college.

  • The key to millennials is comedy. Millennials want to be engaged and the best way to do it is to make them laugh.