In the middle of a training on staff development millennials kept coming up. Truth be told, it wasn't very positive each time they did. To be clear this generation is usually referring to anyone born between the early 80's and early 2000's. That would make me a millennial (or someone on the cusp at least).
The gripes folks had about mille's is that they're often entitled and spoiled. They didn't want to work traditional hours and are too connected to electronic devices. Also, mille's are starved for validation and needed to hear thank you every 10 mins. Now, I don't know that I identified with that completely but I definitely saw some of this in me and in millennials I've worked with.
As the conversation went on it became less a matter of 'those young folks' and more a matter of every generation is different and every generation has value. In this discussion folks kept calling this group kids. And finally one person who wasn't a millennial bravely spoke up. "These aren't kids." These are thriving, energized, walking marketing agents. They're hardworking, constantly boasting about the great work they perform on social media (a walking commercial for their workplace), and creative high-energy employees. They're a key sector of our new and vibrant workforce.
Millennials aren't all that bad, but the perception of them can come across as such...
Like with everything there's two sides to every coin and truth be told not everyone can be put in a "generational box." As my hubby put it, "we're always going to have that older generation slightly ragging on the next all: oh-well-in-my-day". But this isn't a matter of younger vs older people at all. This is a matter of working with varying professionals of all walks of life and personality types.
The key question as leaders and co-workers: do we know how to effectively work with different types of people regardless of when they were born?