Veraquest Research Papers

I have a friend whose company is planning a training session called “Managing Millennials in the Workplace”…because apparently Millennials are different than the rest of us and need special care and attention? Although I have two daughters who fall into this generation, I have never personally managed Millennials in the work-place. But I have certainly heard grumblings from friends and work associates about the sense of entitlement among this generation and their constant need for praise for simply doing their job. If that’s true, I wonder if it’s at least partly due to the “everyone gets a trophy” mentality that many of these kids grew up with – a system likely put in place so as to not leave certain kids out or hurt kids’ feelings or promote perceptions of certain kids being weaker than others.

Anyway, given the negativity I’ve heard about the group (albeit namely in the context of the workplace), I was curious how adult Millennials see themselves as a generation, compared to how they are viewed by members of older generations. We conducted a VeraQuest omnibus survey among 1,501 Americans to find out. What jumped out at me immediately were the results from when we provided respondents with a wide array of characteristics and asked which ones they feel describe people they know between the ages of 18-33, as a group (which is how we’re defining adult Millennials for purposes of this survey).

I have to wonder, though, if older Americans truly feel that Millennials are spoiled, self-centered, etc., or is this how Americans would describe any set of young adults in this country? (For instance, would older Americans have described Generation X’ers the same way when they were in their 20’s?) On the flip-side, though, I don’t recall companies needing to hold special training sessions called “Managing Gen X’ers in the Workplace”…so if these types of classes are needed today for working with Millennials, maybe this current generation of young adults is truly different.

Despite the relatively negative perceptions of the generation – or perhaps it is simply the result of good ol’ American optimism – on the whole, Americans feel that as Millennials get older and take on greater leadership roles in business, government, and society, they will have a net-positive impact on our country. Many (43%) feel they will have neither a positive nor negative impact. Over one-third (37%) feel they will have a positive impact overall, compared to only 20% who feel they will have a negative impact overall. Consistent with the characteristic perceptions, Millennials envision themselves having a more positive impact (45%) than Non-Millennials do (34%).

Sectors where Americans feel Millennials will have the greatest positive impact are on technology (77%) and the environment (46%). Areas where Millennials are expected to have the greatest negative impact are on family values (33%) and religion/religious institutions (30%).

Based on your personal relationships and experiences, how do you feel the generation of 18-33 year old adult Millennials compares with previous generations? Do you feel that these differences are caused by their technology-driven environment, by the way they were parented/raised, or something else?

Filed Under: Employment, Family, Society/Culture, VeraSpectives

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