Millennials have long been called an entitled generation who are hard to manage within the workplace.
During the interview, the topic of Millennials came up and why Generation X-ers have a hard time managing Millennials in the workplace.
“I can break it down into four characteristics,” Sinek said as he began to answer why Millennials seem unhappy in today’s workforce.
“One is parenting, the other is technology, third is patience and the fourth is environment.”
Sinek went on to explain how Millennials are subjects of failed parenting, being told they can have whatever they want in life simply because they want it, and received accolades not because they earned them, but because their parents complained enough for them. They also got participation medals for coming in last.
“The science we know is pretty clear, it devalues the medal and the reward for those who actually work hard, and makes the person who came in last feel embarrassed because they know they didn’t deserve it,” Sinek said.
Sinek then explained how after graduation an entire generation is thrusted into the real world where they figure out in an instant their not special, they don’t get rewarded for coming in last, and they can’t get what they want because they want it.
Their whole world as they know it shatters, resulting in a generation that is unprepared with less self-esteem than any other generation, according to Sinek, “through no fault of their own.”
Let’s not forget the wonderfully detrimental world of social media and filters, and the amazing ability to falsely create a wonderful life even though the user is depressed.
It’s known that dopamine, a chemical in the brain that produces a pleasure sensation, is released when engaging on social media or on the phone. Dopamine is also the same chemical that is released when someone smokes, gambles and drinks.
It’s highly addictive, and an entire generation has been allowed to be exposed to an addictive substance called social media during one of the most crucial learning curves of their lives, adolescence.
“What we’ve seen is as they get older too many kids don’t know how to form deep meaning relationships,” Sinek said. Social media has become the alcohol and teens are using it to cope with the stress of getting through the difficult teenage years.
Add the lack of social coping skills to the instant gratification they’ve been told they can have, and you end up with a generation who is finding little job satisfaction while maintaining superficial relationships.
“What this young generation needs to learn is patience,” Sinek said.
So, what needs to happen moving forward now that Millennials have entered the corporate world?
The company who hires them needs to instill an environment that aids in building their self esteem and relationship forming skills.
It’s not so much that Millennials are hard to manage, it’s that we now have an entire generation who has grown up in a different world than their predecessors, yet it’s up to the predecessors to fix what they ultimately created.
That being said, it’s not expected that every Millennial should continue to be coddled even as they enter adulthood and the workplace, it just means the workplace environment needs to adapt a little to help the Millennials transition.
Because it’s the Millennials who will be around to run the company once the Gen X-ers retire.