Are Millennials Bad Employees?

It seems that more companies need to build their individual workers into a team.

Millennials, some businesses complain, are horrible hirees. But why? Cliff White discusses these complaints in an article for The Week, then offers a millennial businessman’s rebuttal:

“One dig against millennials is that they’re never satisfied or that they’re flaky, but I look at it differently,” Bushner said. “I don’t think there’s been a giant shift in the way young people think or the way they want to act in the last 20 years, or for that matter, the last 200. I just think that maybe the millennial generation is just less afraid to go after what they want.”

… One CFO at a mid-sized manufacturer in New England (who’s related to me, and who asked to not be named so as to avoid bad-mouthing millennials publicly) is wary of hiring millennials after experiencing high absenteeism among their ranks.

“Many are high maintenance and don’t want to work hard,” he said. “Working to repetitive deadlines is not something millennials do well.” In response, Bushner said executives that think of millennials as lazy might want to reevaluate the way their own businesses are run.

“No, we’re not a punch-the-clock kind of workplace, but when we’re in a crunch, my team works harder than anyone,” Bushner said. “Are there millennials who are lazy? Sure, but to write off a whole generation as lazy is naive. If you put me into their more traditional company, they would probably call me lazy too and I’m working 60- to 80-hour weeks. Where an older generation of business leaders see laziness, I see creative energy that’s not being properly harnessed or applied.”

It seems that both White’s relative and Bushner have some good points. The former sees young employees who don’t have the traditional work ethic or sense of loyalty that older generations may have demonstrated; Bushner sees an ambitious set of young people who are more likely to push boundaries, yet also likely to bring great enthusiasm and creativity to a job they consider worthwhile or meaningful.

Read the rest at The American Conservative

Gracy Olmstead
Featured columnist Gracy Olmstead is a senior writer for The American Conservative, a senior contributor for The Federalist, and the Thursday editor of BRIGHT, a weekly newsletter for women. Her writings can also be found at The Week, Christianity Today, Acculturated, The University Bookman, and Catholic Rural Life.

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