Epic Fail: Millennials Get Slammed In Poll On Workplace Attitudes

Millennial attitude at workBy Danny Rubin


Ever feel like your boss has a habit of giving you disapproving looks or keeping you from the company's most important accounts?

Your workplace paranoia might be grounded in some truth, at least according to a recent survey of employers across the country.

The poll, conducted by Workplace Options, found that a significant percentage of people think Millennials are less inclined to take on responsibility and produce quality work compared with their non-GenY co-workers.

Nearly 70 percent of survey respondents think Millennials are lazy and uninterested in their jobs. What's more, 55 percent of Millennials agree.

Yeesh. Rough stuff. Without question, Millennial power and influence grows every day in the professional sphere. But if we view the Workplace Options survey as a progress report on our generation, we still have plenty to learn about life in an office.

It should come as no surprise that we rub our superiors the wrong way. We were raised to chase our dreams, eschew the age-old climb up the corporate ladder, live with an independent streak and rely on finely-tuned tech skills to fix problems 100 times faster than our parents.

GenY cares little for corporate bureaucracy, red tape and the snail's pace at which some companies make decisions. If we see the right answer, we run with it. If we can't do it our way, we sometimes often check out and stare at the clock. But at our best, we are experts in today's need-it-now culture.

There's only one snafu with this tried and true approach to work: in most cases, Millennials are not in charge. We serve at the behest of older folks who not only pay our salaries but have likely worked in our field for years, if not decades. Just like Millennials, they have developed their own work strategies – and GenY's brash, get-it-done approach doesn't always mesh well with their style.

And now this recent poll makes it abundantly clear what older employees think of us. Rather than go on the defense, savvy Millennials should take the survey's findings to heart and change the way we approach our 9-to-5.

So your boss expects you to not take initiative and ask for more responsibility on a big project? Prove him wrong and ask how you can get more involved. Your supervisor assumes you can't get a huge assignment done in a short amount of time? Stay late, check it for errors backwards and forwards, and turn it around by the next morning.

Don't give your boss a reason to doubt you; give yourself an opportunity to earn respect.

Each generation has its own unique style, and the Millennial tool kit is indispensable in today's business climate. But technical mastery is one thing, and attitude another. No one can deny an employee who comes to work every day with a smile and flat out works hard.


Danny Rubin is a national news consultant for media research firm Frank N Magid Associates. He is a former television news reporter, lives in Washington, D.C. and tweets as @dannyhrubin.



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mamoseley3

That generation of young people doesn't want to accept responsibility. They're accustomed to getting what they want without working. One day they will wake up and realize that they will have to work to have a place to live, food on their table and money to survive.

December 26 2011 at 3:41 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
joyce

This generation is doing a fine job of making themselves unemployable. They show up for job interviews in clothes that have never seen an iron. They have thier shirtails out and they think there waist is somewhere in the vacinity of thier knees. Their bodies are covered with trendy tatoos done by the local want-a-be. They haven't bothered to learn how to put two sentences together that makes rational sense, and certainly can't write it down on the job application. They have no sense of the "corporate look", nor do they care. As long as our politicians keep extending the unemployment benifits into the length of a welfare program I don't think there will be any reason for them to want to improve.

December 26 2011 at 9:50 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
beverlylandis3

Once again, the term gen Y, or generation Y, makes no sense. They are supposedly the children of Gen X, which is NOT the letter X, but the Roman numeral for TEN. Gen X people are the tenth generation of Americans born since the revolutionary war, going by 20 years per generation. So of course, gen Y is nuts, but it started being used by people who did not understand what gen X meant, and it spread and spread, as any cancerous error will. What's next: gen Z? And then what? Get smart, people.

December 26 2011 at 8:23 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
hot stuff

the contempt here is disgusting. what do you all have against other americans? you need to ask yourself that because you all sound very UNamerican bashing one another. we need to band together to make things work, don't you understand that? how much production do you think you can reliably get out of someone while telling them they are useless? you people are stupid, wake up!

December 26 2011 at 7:41 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to hot stuff's comment
Jessie

I've got a great idea! Let's make everyone winners in all competitions and have no consequences for poor performance in school and let's graduate students in public school whether they deserve it or not..... Wait we're already doing that and THAT is the problem. Pressently, with MUCH of the younger generation (and I do mean much and not all because I do know some that do have their priorities in order), the choices an employer has is not to hire or hire with regret and require hard working employees to pick up their slack. Poor parenting, societal appeasement and enabling public school policies are to blame. Back in the day, immigrants in particular, would do anything to get to this country and become accepted. There was a pride in performance and honor that has been degraded to the point that far, far too many believe birth alone makes them an American. This country has over 310 million citizens but I doubt 2/3's are real Americans today. So I don't think worrying about the feelings of a slacker is going to accomplish anything. Parents are supposed to raise that child, not an employer, and if you haven't figured that out yet, considering today's high unemployment, you'll have an epiphany in the near future.

December 26 2011 at 8:14 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
Allie

so, am I supposed to do thier work AND mine? Do they still get the pay check at the end of the week or do I get theirs? If I'm not getting their pay check it's not going to happen. You have to pull your own weight! You get what you work for in this world. There are no prizes for the loser!

December 26 2011 at 8:25 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
GHK

"... [C]hange the way we approach our 9-to-5. ... ask how you can get more involved. ... Stay late, check it for errors backwards and forwards, and turn it around by the next morning. ... [etc.]"

Sound advice for any generation and any employee.

Most bosses and supervisors primarily want to get a job done and done well. Employees must prove their ability and willingness to accomplish that efficiently, legally, and morally.

For a good boss, flattery is no substitute for competence, and employees who contend otherwise may be cynically attempting to excuse or deny their incompetence.

December 26 2011 at 7:37 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
Bill

Danny Rubin sums it up very well in the last four paragraphs.
It's always been good advice if you want to succeed on the job. Be a Ki-- A--.

December 26 2011 at 7:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Bill's comment
GHK

No, Bill, Mr. Rubin does not prescribe flattery; rather, he prescribes competence and initiative. I've often noticed employees attempting to blame their shortcomings on the boss, co-workers, society -- anything but themselves.

Do you honestly expect to complete truly complex and difficult assignments by relying upon flattery? If so, I'd rather not hire you..

December 26 2011 at 7:43 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Enter the Dragon

They think that *having a job* means being paid to text their friends the whole time they're on the clock, then whining about how hard they work.

December 26 2011 at 6:11 AM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
Allie

it boils down to one thing: instant total gratification. You could have worked your way through college like we had to, but that would have taken you too long, you wanted that sheep's skin NOW. Because of this you left school with no work ethic, no drive and you want to start at the top. You CAN'T start at the top...we're still there!! It took me 20 years to get where I am and if you think I'm giving up my seat to some snot nosed start-up, you're crazy! Stand in line, Buddy!

December 26 2011 at 6:04 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
unknown

Nice article, for people with J-O-B-S.

December 26 2011 at 5:55 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to unknown's comment
GHK

And good advice for those seeking employment. Showing initiative during a job interview can be very helpful. Ignore that at your peril.

December 26 2011 at 7:46 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
dal

It would be nice if maybe half of them could pass a drug test. Just saying I see it every day where I work. Lot's of jobs but few can pass the drug test and those who do pass the drug test tend to get fired in short order because they feel coming into work is an option and here if you miss 3 days out of ninety days your fired.

December 26 2011 at 5:36 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

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