4 Shocking Charts About Millennials At Work

Our research team at Leadership IQ recently conducted a study involving over 3,000 employees from virtually every industry. And among the hundred-plus survey questions, we discovered several areas where Millennials (aka Generation Y) really differed from all the other age groups.  Here are 4 big differences...

Chart #1: Millennials Don't Really Know If Their Performance Is Good Enough

I regularly hear managers complain that millennials don't know that need to improve.  Well, this data clearly shows that it's not that millennials are willfully obstinate or narcissistic, but that they really don't know.  And frankly, how can we expect people to improve if they have no idea whether their performance is where it should be?  When only 33% of millennials say that they truly know whether their performance is where it should be, we leaders need to do a better job on performance management.

Chart #2: Millennials Aren't Very Comfortable Discussing Compensation

 One of the bigger complaints about millennials is that they're always walking in to our offices and asking for raises.  Well, perhaps that does not happen, but it's probably not as common as we generally think.  Only 23% of millennials are very comfortable discussing their long-term compensation goals with their leaders, compared with 32% of people in their forties and 42% of people in their fifties.  That's a huge difference.  And perhaps some of millennials' reticence stems from the fact that they don't really know if their performance is where it should be.

Chart #3: Millennials Aren't That Confident In Their Communication Skills

 We've all heard (and maybe personally believe) that millennials are not great communicators.  Well, you know who else believes that?  Millennials!  This might be one of the biggest indicators about the size of the generation gap (and some of the generational discord that exists in our workplaces).  Only 28% of millennials think their communications skills are better than their peers'.  But people 10 years older (thirty-somethings) feel much more confident.

Chart #4: Maybe It's True That Millennials Need Better Writing Skills

 It's often hard to know whether complaints about millennials are overblown or grounded in reality.  But when it comes to complaints about millennials' writing skills, there's probably some truth in there.  When we asked employees about their writing skills, only 35% of millennials believe that their writing skills are better than their peers'.  And that is quite a bit lower than all the other age groups.

Listen, I know that working with different generations can sometimes be challenging.  But hopefully by looking at some hard data, we can move past hyperbole and myth and engage in a deep discussion about how to maximize everyones' potential.

Thanks for reading and I'd love to see your comments. 

 

Posted by Mark Murphy on 16 January, 2017 Millennials, Research | 1 comment
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Comments

  • Leslie - May 22, 2017

    Thank you for the information. It appears that this isn’t a millennial issue, but one that affects all younger people in the workforce and has for generations. As people age through the work environment, they become not only better skilled, but also gain insight into how to ask for raises, gain constructive feedback, and communicate professionally in all areas. Very few enter the job market in top form.

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