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Millennials and their Work Ethic

  • Last Updated:
  • Sep 1st, 2019 5:32 pm
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jul 8, 2013
1918 posts
2572 upvotes
Red Deer, AB

Millennials and their Work Ethic

A lot of Millennials have poor work ethic. What is going on here?

Here is a prime example: Back in February of 2018, we hired a marketing coordinator. She interviewed really well (she has excellent soft skills) though we knew that she was lacking some hard technical skills. Our thinking went that hard skills can be acquired, but soft skills cannot. Our budget was $45K to $60K for this position and we asked what she wanted. She said $50K and we agreed. Perhaps this was too generous (in Edmonton, AB) but we decided that she will grow into the role.

She reports to a VP who works in another town, so I'm the senior most person in our Edmonton office. I see that she comes to work 30 minutes late every day, and there is always an excuse as to why she is late. There has been times where I'm out of the office for a meeting and as soon as she realizes that no one else is in the office, she closes up and leaves as well. Moreover, she has called in sick 9 times in 2018, and has already called in sick 6 times in the first 8 months of 2019. So a total of 15 times over the last 18 months. Yikes!

She doesn't report to me so I don't see what she does, but whenever I go past her office (yes, she has an office) she is either on Facebook, twitter, or Instagram.

All of the above is fine as long as she is getting her work done, which I'm thinking she is as there has been no negative feedback (nor has the VP asked me for my opinion, and I wouldn't share this stuff anyways as it's petty).

Here is the kicker: she wants to get the manager title and wants her pay bumped up to $65K! Hahaha...

If she was displaying the necessary work ethic, I'd agree with her. But it seems like the entitlement mentality is plaguing our newest generation who are now in their '20s and entering work.

They want the VP title and a six-figure salary in 3 years. Yeah, not going to happen unless you are a doctor. Even lawyers and CA's have to work hard and put in long hours to hit that six-figure mark.

What has been your experience?

Is there something that I can do to help her?

She is a great person and has an excellent personality. A part of me just wants to leave it be and not stir the pot. Another part of me wants to let her supervisor know what I see. Another part of me wants to sit her down and explain that if she wants to get to the VP title, she would have to work super hard. But I know the right thing to do is just leave it be. Any suggestions?
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64 replies
Member
Jun 27, 2007
232 posts
94 upvotes
California
Are you asking for help for a specific employee or just wanted to make blanketed generalizations about a generation based on your anecdotal story?
Sr. Member
May 24, 2007
531 posts
188 upvotes
Don’t think he/she needs our help.

Most Certainly unaware there are many millennials here; browsing rfd instead of going hard at work.
Deal Addict
Apr 19, 2017
1053 posts
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Its the Boomers fault for selling us out.
Deal Addict
Jun 1, 2008
2808 posts
604 upvotes
Cambridge, ON/Guelph…
Not sure what type of response you are looking for here.

As long as she is getting her work done etc, why does it matter? It's better to work smarter not harder.
Newbie
Nov 23, 2011
54 posts
36 upvotes
Conversely, in my workplace, a very large organization, it's the millennials driving the ship and taking on the vast majority of the work while most over 40 are either not carrying their load or on disability. So I can come to the conclusion that boomers have no work ethic. Would that be right?
Newbie
Jul 29, 2019
47 posts
107 upvotes
If she gets the manager title, will she be above your level then?

Since she reports to the VP and there's no issue there, if she talks to the VP at the right time.. VP may consider it.
I don't think she needs your help. She made sure she does the work so the VP will have no issues with her. She's just waiting for the right opportunity.
Deal Guru
Dec 5, 2006
10217 posts
5311 upvotes
Markham
TuxedoBlack wrote: A lot of Millennials have poor work ethic. What is going on here?

Here is a prime example: Back in February of 2018, we hired a marketing coordinator. She interviewed really well (she has excellent soft skills) though we knew that she was lacking some hard technical skills. Our thinking went that hard skills can be acquired, but soft skills cannot. Our budget was $45K to $60K for this position and we asked what she wanted. She said $50K and we agreed. Perhaps this was too generous (in Edmonton, AB) but we decided that she will grow into the role.

She reports to a VP who works in another town, so I'm the senior most person in our Edmonton office. I see that she comes to work 30 minutes late every day, and there is always an excuse as to why she is late. There has been times where I'm out of the office for a meeting and as soon as she realizes that no one else is in the office, she closes up and leaves as well. Moreover, she has called in sick 9 times in 2018, and has already called in sick 6 times in the first 8 months of 2019. So a total of 15 times over the last 18 months. Yikes!

She doesn't report to me so I don't see what she does, but whenever I go past her office (yes, she has an office) she is either on Facebook, twitter, or Instagram.

All of the above is fine as long as she is getting her work done, which I'm thinking she is as there has been no negative feedback (nor has the VP asked me for my opinion, and I wouldn't share this stuff anyways as it's petty).

Here is the kicker: she wants to get the manager title and wants her pay bumped up to $65K! Hahaha...

If she was displaying the necessary work ethic, I'd agree with her. But it seems like the entitlement mentality is plaguing our newest generation who are now in their '20s and entering work.

They want the VP title and a six-figure salary in 3 years. Yeah, not going to happen unless you are a doctor. Even lawyers and CA's have to work hard and put in long hours to hit that six-figure mark.

What has been your experience?

Is there something that I can do to help her?

She is a great person and has an excellent personality. A part of me just wants to leave it be and not stir the pot. Another part of me wants to let her supervisor know what I see. Another part of me wants to sit her down and explain that if she wants to get to the VP title, she would have to work super hard. But I know the right thing to do is just leave it be. Any suggestions?
You are old.

Your parents generation probably talked your generation same way

Move on
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 9, 2007
14077 posts
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Think of the Childre…
Ah well, life goes on......

WOULD SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!
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Mar 21, 2010
5897 posts
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Toronto
TuxedoBlack wrote: All of the above is fine as long as she is getting her work done, which I'm thinking she is as there has been no negative feedback (nor has the VP asked me for my opinion, and I wouldn't share this stuff anyways as it's petty).
So why's it not fine? Because it sounds like you feel this person should never be promoted, despite no known complaints about her work, because of reasons you acknowledge are petty.

Yeah people often think they should be promoted faster than they should be, that's always been the case. If you think she's an asset to the team because she's a good person to work with, then maybe try to manage her dissatisfaction and expectations (as in, these things will come when you get more experience - not like "you have to work 100% for 10 hours a day every day and never complain and always ask for more work before anyone would consider that").

There are also a lot of people who slack off when they can (look at me, on RFD during the workday) and make it up when they have to. There are entire industries (made up mostly not of millennials) who work crazy hard half the year and then go on EI for the other half.

Also is it just me, or does taking 15 sick days in 18 months not really seem amazingly excessive? That's about 10 a year. It's not like she's mysteriously too unwell to come in every Monday.
Deal Addict
Oct 18, 2014
1970 posts
858 upvotes
HK
I don't mind millennials, they are easy to compete with (compared to Gen X and boomers).

My biggest opportunity has been foreign talent as they are smart, hard-working, long hours, for a fraction of the market rate and never complain. It's not as prevalent here in Canada (relative to the US), but with the immigration issues in the US (H1B), many have come to Canada. I would say 90% of our new hires are all foreigners that left the US.
Newbie
May 13, 2019
9 posts
18 upvotes
Manatus wrote: So why's it not fine? Because it sounds like you feel this person should never be promoted, despite no known complaints about her work, because of reasons you acknowledge are petty.

Yeah people often think they should be promoted faster than they should be, that's always been the case. If you think she's an asset to the team because she's a good person to work with, then maybe try to manage her dissatisfaction and expectations (as in, these things will come when you get more experience - not like "you have to work 100% for 10 hours a day every day and never complain and always ask for more work before anyone would consider that").

There are also a lot of people who slack off when they can (look at me, on RFD during the workday) and make it up when they have to. There are entire industries (made up mostly not of millennials) who work crazy hard half the year and then go on EI for the other half.

Also is it just me, or does taking 15 sick days in 18 months not really seem amazingly excessive? That's about 10 a year. It's not like she's mysteriously too unwell to come in every Monday.
Her dissatisfaction and expectations are not his to manage, he is not her supervisor/manager. He also introduces himself as the senior most, rather than a manager, so I assume he holds no authority over her at all.

Op, have you considered that Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can be used as part of her job? Do you know for a fact that she does not work outside of office hours?

50k or even 65k is not an outrageous salary. It's not 1920 anymore.

Do you have a VP title? If not, do you actually know what it takes to get it? Putting your head down and working non-stop does not get you promoted. It gets you burnt out.
Deal Fanatic
Mar 21, 2010
5897 posts
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Toronto
MLNick wrote: Her dissatisfaction and expectations are not his to manage, he is not her supervisor/manager. He also introduces himself as the senior most, rather than a manager, so I assume he holds no authority over her at all.
No, which is why I'm saying don't talk to her like a manager and say she has to do this and that and etc. - but as a concerned colleague who has a lot more experience with the company, if you are working with someone new who you like but who appears to be frustrated, you could be like "hey, don't feel down, these things take time, we've all been there" - support each other basically.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Dec 3, 2009
5865 posts
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Toronto
In my workplace those in their 20s also seem to call in "sick" a lot. Also with an excuse every day why they are 30-60 mins late.

However, I also find there is a lot of younger people that are very good at managing every hour of their day.
Remember to be an RFD-er and NOT a degenerate.
Deal Expert
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Aug 18, 2005
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This is like a pedestrian who gets run over on the sidewalk by a bicycle, and now they want to sanction all bicycles.
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Deal Guru
User avatar
Jul 12, 2003
11856 posts
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Toronto
This post sounds like a rant.

You are complaining about her work ethnics, you are not her supervisor nor manager and at the end you ask what can you help her......I'm confused.

You mentioned that you are a senior position and why wouldn't they are not promoting you instead? or are you both in different team?

I don't think you need to say anything to her boss aslong as her work didn't impact yours, unless they ask for your opinion on her. Otherwise, I will keep myself shut.
As you know, she could be a manager soon and a friend in the office is better to have an enemy.

What I do to survive in an office politic is mind your own business, unless people try to be aggressive and fight down others to step up....
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Jan 31, 2007
3645 posts
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Does she get her job done?
Deal Guru
Jun 26, 2011
14035 posts
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GTA
TuxedoBlack wrote:
She doesn't report to me so I don't see what she does
This is the key to me.

I'd personally just say nothing unless asked. Maybe she does excellent work. Maybe she's taken a lot of time off because she has a child with a disability or a sick parent. Who knows. As someone who doesn't actually see the work that she is producing and not in charge of her, I'd leave it be.
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Jun 9, 2003
24874 posts
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Markham, ON
....generalizing...i've had good and bad experience with millennials.

but again...no different than any group of ppl
[OP]
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Jul 8, 2013
1918 posts
2572 upvotes
Red Deer, AB
Very interesting responses, and I appreciate them.

It is more of a rant than anything else, as my work ethic is different than that of hers.

PS: I'm also a millennial.
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