Get the Work Ethic You Want — and From Millennials !

Are you sick of hearing people, not in their twenties, complain about the work ethic of people who are?  I am.  The problem of Millennials work ethic can be solved quite simply and inexpensively.  If you want only those with classical work ethics, no clock watching, happy meeting attenders, and unlimited face time, here’s the secret:  Hire only twentysomethings who are the first generation in their families to go through US schools and get degrees!  They will behave like women getting professional jobs in the early 70s.  They will have a Boomer work ethic and they’ll be grateful.  They will think the Boomers who hired them are worthy role models.  They will pay their dues and express loyalty to the organization.

We have a pool of people whose values don’t reflect their peers’, e.g., children of immigrants.   Mainstream Boomers did not rear them.  The former worship job security, a regular paycheck, structure, and discipline.  Mark Zuckerberg isn’t a hero.  If they had known Jack Welch he would have been.  They love the prestige of old Fortune 500 companies however fey and uncompetitive.  Where’s the down side in this tale?

Boomers don’t remember or understand their own history.  The “Routineers,” as they were called in the 70s, were Boomer objects of ridicule.   Those were the people who didn’t want to climb the ladder, who just wanted to do the job and live.  Now, faced with a generation that refuses to break a sweat over the corporate agenda, the Boomers once again are thwarted.  They’d love to recruit all those newly-minted feminists wanting to bash the glass ceiling.  It still happens, but mostly with ethnic and racial minorities.

Millennials work ethic

Boomers suffer severe withdrawal symptoms when twentysomethings let them know the latter clearly don’t admire Boomer values.  It’s a cold shower — and always unexpected.  Until the Boomers sort out what employee skills and attitudes are critical to getting the result — other than being “mini me’s” — the great demographic divide will continue.

Check out this New York Times article:  “Children of Immigrants Do Study More” for further confirmation.

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Filed under Career Strategies, Demographics, Millennials and GenX, Workforce Demographics