There are endless articles about millennials and Gen Y that we all see and read everyday. So I have decided to join in that debate. After working with the 'Next Gen' for over 25 years in different spheres, I have seen, heard and worked with over 600 in that time.
In this article, I have highlighted some of the key points that Simon Sinek talks about in his fantastic 15min interview. I have also added in a few comments where I think it is appropriate.
I do recommend you listen to the video. See the link at the bottom.
Failed parenting is leading to some of the problems that millennials are facing today. They are told they are special by everybody; they are told that they can have anything they want and; they pushed into schools or classes that are above their capability. What this leads to is low self-esteem, through no fault of their own. Then in the workplace, they suddenly discover they cannot just have what they want.
Social media postings are acting as filters on our lives. Millennials only see their friends having great fun, being tough and being amazing. You never see the downside. You never see the depression. You never see the struggles of life. That is all filtered out because it is never posted.
Did you know our phones help release dopamine into our bodies. Dopamine is the drug that makes us feel good. We get it when we smoke, drink or gamble, but there are age restrictions put on those vices by governments. There are no restrictions on our phones.
Did you know that dopamine is released when you get a text or when you get a response to a text? So what do you do? You send a whole load more texts and get a bunch of responses which releases dopamine, which subsequently makes you feel great. Bingo. You feel great. Let's do that again...and again...and again. How many times do we check the likes on our social media posts? I do. It feels great as we see the likes tick up. We have discovered an unfettered source for this drug.
When we are stressed, people turn to alcohol and smoking. This behaviour starts to get hardwired into our brains.
Millennials do not know how to create deep, meaningful relationships. They cannot cope with stress. They do not know how to deal with it.
There is no 'balance' in their lives. Everything in moderation is needed.
How often do you look at your phone in the morning before you say good morning to your spouse, girlfriend or boyfriend? I do or did!
The young of today do not have to wait for anything. They can get instant gratification from anything. Go on a date? No, they just swipe right and have got an immediate hot date. They do not have to learn social skills. There is an app for everything now. Except for job satisfaction and strength of relationships.
Job satisfaction and building relationships are slow, meandering and messy. Oooops. What is the millennial going to do now? Their phone does not have the answer to it.
Millennials want to make an IMPACT at work and in life. For that, they are going to have to learn patience. Impact does not happen immediately. They are going to need to enjoy their job and get fulfilment from it.
The journey up the mountain to the summit where IMPACT is found, is a long arduous and difficult pathway.
They will need to ask for help on that journey. Whether that is in the office or having external mentors.
Sadly for some millennials, reality is somewhat different to the idealism that is playing out in their heads. This is leading to an increase in suicide rates; accidental deaths due to drug overdoses; or dropping out of school due to depression.
There is a danger that the millennials will never find joy, never get deep fulfilment and sadly just waft through life.
The millennials have been dealt a bad hand. They are going to work in an environment that only cares about the numbers and the short term. They do not care so much for the young employees. These companies do not help build confidence and teach them about cooperation. The millennials are discovering they are going to have to work hard and for a long time. It ends up with the millennials blaming themselves. There needs to be better leadership and social responsibility of these millennials in the workplace.
So at your next meeting, ban anybody bringing a phone to the meeting. That way everybody will have learn small talk while waiting for the meeting to start. They will learn how to form relationships. Relationships are formed by talking and not checking your emails. Trust does not form instantaneously. Just take one phone in the group when you go out to dinner, in case of an emergency.
Remove the temptation, as you would if it was alcohol.
Enjoy the world. Ideas happen when you have time to think. That is called Innovation.
If you found this article and the video interesting and want some help. We provide mentoring and coaching for millennials. If you are interested in learning more, please contact us.
Simon Sinek talks about Millennials in the Workplace