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Thursday AM April 29th, 2010

The millennial generation numbers about 76 million strong in today’s workforce, working alongside baby boomers and gen-Xers. How are they fitting in? Ed Mayberry reports.


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M Factor book coverThe children of the Baby Boomers, born after 1982 and before 2000, will be the first generation to surpass the boomers in numbers.  The co-author of The M-Factor: How the Millennial Generation is Rocking the Workplace is a Gen-Xer.  David Stillman says boomer parents have done a great job mentoring the millennials, but that creates problems as the nation’s newest workers ask for what they want.

“How fast they would like to move up the ladder or how fast they expect communication.  Another big issues is around new technology tools, such as social networking.  Here’s a generation that doesn’t know a world without it or how to function without it, and yet the other generations will walk by a millennials desk and say ‘oh, they’re on Facebook,’ yet smart companies are really deploying this as a strategic communications tool and tapping into the millennials to say ‘how can we use social networking to our strategic advantage?'”

Stillman says millennials are often seen as a generation that has a huge sense of entitlement.

“We’re throwing this label at this generation.  We’re labeling them as entitled, and what that tends to do is set them up to not want to work with them or to say ‘oh, they’re not going to be productive.  They’re not even going to be hard-working.’  Let’s remember who raised them and taught this generation to speak up and ask for what they want.  Now, what we will often say to millennials is that you’ve got to be careful, that you might be perceived as being entitled or spoiled because you’re asking for things that the other generations definitely did not have the luxury of asking for.” 

Stillman says rather than seeing millennials as entitled, they should be perceived as engaged.

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