top of page
  • Writer's pictureMwikali

Are Millennials a Misunderstood Generation?

Millennials have been sometimes portrayed unfairly as self-seeking and people who do not know much about the work place and are not willing to do the time in order to rise through the ranks. There is, of course, some truth to this. So what is the best way to deal with a boss who has already pre-judged you as either incompetent or a brat, and sees everything you say through these lenses?

Millennials are quite misunderstood by other generations, and this tendency has been used to excuse bullying and unprofessionalism at workplace. After keen interest in getting to understand what drives this generation, I have come to conclude that despite the sense of entitlement seen in many millennials, it is the older generations who are not ready to let go and allow the new order at workplace.

Employers who keep doing the blame game need to understand that it is in everyone’s interest to create an enabling work environment for this generation to thrive. Such environment includes having the right attitude and respect for millennials and being ready to coach and mentor them to success.

Now to your question, you must change the perception of your boss by delivering. For you to do this, ensure you have clear objectives, outcomes and resources to enable you deliver effectively.

Next, talk to your boss and ask for feedback on how you are doing.

Find out why this person sees you as incompetent and what you need to do to earn their respect.

Seek feedback from peers and col-leagues where necessary, you have so many resources at your disposal you should never feel alone at work. Instead of demonstrating feelings of entitlement, work towards earning what you feel entitled to. If you have a good manager, they will reward you the moment they realise your potential.

One of the lessons I learned the hard way in my years in HR was to stop saying “no because the policy says.” I realised if I do not get the policy to serve the needs of the employee and employer fairly, I will have failed in my role.

We have many managers who instead of looking for different solutions to meet emerging needs of younger employees apply one-shoe-fits-all attitude that only suits the older generations, and complain about millennials turnover.

Employers have to create necessary flexibility appreciating that every work place has three, if not four, different generations, with different needs that must be met to enhance productivity and retention.

Show me an employee who does not desire a promotion, or a flexible work arrangement, or to work from home once in a week, or to be paid what they think they are worth. This is not a millennial problem.



bottom of page