The Millennial Mis-match

 By Kevin C Chen [CC BY-SA 2.0 tw (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/tw/deed.en)], from Wikimedia Commons

By Kevin C Chen [CC BY-SA 2.0 tw (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/tw/deed.en)], from Wikimedia Commons

I hear a lot from fellow small business owners about millennials and their younger successors, mostly not good.

“arrogant and entitled.”

“the attention span of a goldfish”

“think they can choose when and where they work.”,

“think they should have a say in everything.”

“won’t be told.”

“can’t stick at anything.”,

“don’t distinguish between life at work and life outside work.”

“aren’t responsible.”

“always letting me down”

I think it’s unlikely that young people today are that different from me at their age.

It’s more likely that there is a simple mismatch of what ‘work’ means.

Like me, millennials crave agency, meaning, mastery and self-fulfilment. They also crave connection. They want to collaborate and co-create, not work for.

They want responsibility.

So why not call their bluff?

Give them responsibility, and the autonomy to deliver on it.

Support them, create feedback mechanisms that tell you and them how they’re doing.

Reward them for the results they deliver, not for being ‘at work’.

It worked for me, and you never know, you might just please everyone.