So how to make sense of an American Psychological Association study in 2009 that there was a “63% increase in the number of young people who rated money as “extremely important” (16% of Boomers compared to 26% of Millennials)”? The same study found that Gen-Y measured lower on the civic engagement scale than did Gen-X (lower than Boomers too). Are Millennials as entitled and self-obsessed as the media make them out to be?
Leonard J. Glick, professor of management and organizational development at Northeastern University, is not convinced there’s a huge difference between the latest generations to hit the workforce and those that are now easing into retirement. That’s not to say that employers and the business world don’t have to change their game a tad for Gen-Y.
“I think a lot of things that companies are saying about how to treat millennials – which is to give them more autonomy and to challenge them and treat them well – are true but I think that was always true,” he said. “Maybe what’s different today is that companies can’t get away as quickly with mistreating employees.”
Changing attitudes of fairness in the workplace, open knowledge about what certain positions should pay, access to knowledge about how companies treat their people and greater understanding of what recourse slighted employees have all contributed to the younger generation becoming a more empoweredworkforce, he added.