The “Workaholic Generation”
The dictionary describes a Millennial as a person born in the 1980s or 1990s. Though previous generations have described them as people who are unproductive and entitled, a recent study by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) describes them as “workaholics.”
The AARP’s study reveals that 47 percent of Millennials (ages 20 to 36) believe it is "extremely" or "very important" to stay connected to work while on vacation, compared to just 33 percent of Generation X and 16 percent of Baby Boomers. The study shows how Millennials, more so than previous generations, feel increased pressure to work on vacation and avoid taking time off altogether. The digital age has made staying connected to the office from a remote location easily accessible, creating a 24/7 mentality of availability among the current generation. Daunting financial reasons also drives Millennials; entering the workforce at a time of a great recession and an era of layoffs, and saddled with record student loan debts served as the foundation for a culture of “workaholics,” motivated by fear of losing their jobs and incurring further debt. Millennials are also taking less time off than older generations.
A study by bankrate.com revealed that 25 percent of 18- to 25-year-olds would rather keep their paid time off days in the bank instead of using them throughout the year. The Millennial generation has been described in many ways, but one thing they can no longer be described as is lazy.
Recruiting and Retaining the Next Generation
Forbes.com created a list of seven ways to recruit and retain Millennials in the workforce. Here are some tips on attracting and retaining the younger generation.
1. Create an environment where they want to work. Keep employees challenged, don’t obsess over start an end times. Instead, focus on the quality of work produced.
2. Outline a career roadmap. It’s important to outline a plan that sets milestones every six months to show progression.
3. Make work fun. Millennials often think the grass is always greener on the other side. Turn the tables by making sure the experience you’re giving employees is fun and enjoyable.
4. Offer a clear career path. Millennials often leave jobs to advance their careers, especially if they don’t see a path with their current company. For Millennials, learning should take two tracks: the first to improve their ability to perform their current role and the second to begin to prepare them for their next one.
5. Cultivate a supportive environment. Do away with Millennial stereotypes and build a strategy and retain good talent. Like all generations, Millennials seek a supportive environment to learn, regular feedback, career path visibility and opportunities to prove themselves.
6. Treat Millennials like everyone else. Be the best trainer you can be; educate and help each employee the same no matter what age. Ask how they learn the best and get to work. Job-hopping may happen. Data can be spun different ways. Coach to the best of your ability and if it’s a fit for both parties, the rest will work out.
7. Learn and evolve. Millennials want more than just a paycheck. They want to work for purpose-driven organizations. Having an authentic culture that values giving back is key to recruiting and retaining Millennials.