PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — You hear strong statements about millennials all the time: they’re spoiled, they’re entitled, and they’re unreliable.
Study after study shows the millennial worker you’re training isn’t likely to stick around, but is it their fault?
Sociologist Dr. Randy Blazak studies generational relationships. He says it’s what happened to previous generations that drove millennials away from traditional work.
“They have grown up with parents who have dedicated themselves to careers and companies and been stabbed in the back,” said Dr. Blazak. “They’re going to be less loyal to a job because that job ultimately is going to be less loyal to them.”
According to a recent report in Time Magazine, the millennial workforce in America right now is roughly 40 million strong, and within the next ten years, three out of four American workers will be members of the millennial generation.
Still, for all the millennials in the workplace, most management positions are being held by baby-boomers or Gen X-ers, and that can lead to problems.
The Wall Street Journal reports that American companies are spending $60 to $70 million per year in consulting fees just to learn how to stop millennials from leaving.
Management consultant Marc Belsher says the most important change businesses can make is to break away from the traditional 9-5 model.
“We need to meet the millennials where they’re at, not expect them to meet us where we are at,” said Belsher.
Belsher says flexibility is incredibly important in keeping the individualist millennials at your company, and the most satisfied and effective workers are allowed to blend their schedules between their business life and their personal life.
If you’ve spent your life’s work toeing the line for your company, that can be a tough adjustment to make. Still, Belsher says a more flexible approach keeps everyone happy, regardless of their generation.
“I think that they are helping to drive positive change within our enterprises,” he said.