Why You Should Be Terrified of the Rising Millennial and Gen Z Workforce

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We’ve become a nation pajama boys.
pajamaboy
Inc.com: When a college student needs counseling because he’s scored a B on a report card, or worse, calls the police because there’s a mouse roaming the apartment, we can kind of laugh about it. I mean, how ridiculous!
Those would be just good stories, except episodes like this are becoming more and more common. Peter Gray, PhD, a research professor at Boston College who studies how children learn and value play, writes about declining resilience in college students in Psychology Today. His thoughts are frightening for the workplace. If today’s college students lack resilience, what can we expect from tomorrow’s job applicants? You have to hire someone.
Dr. Gray quotes from the head of counseling at Boston College, who writes:
“I have done a considerable amount of reading and research in recent months on the topic of resilience in college students. Our students are no different from what is being reported across the country on the state of late adolescence/early adulthood. There has been an increase in diagnosable mental health problems, but there has also been a decrease in the ability of many young people to manage the everyday bumps in the road of life. Whether we want it or not, these students are bringing their struggles to their teachers and others on campus who deal with students on a day-to-day basis. The lack of resilience is interfering with the academic mission of the University and is thwarting the emotional and personal development of students. (Emphasis is mine.)”
Human Resource managers and people who manage entry-level employees have already seen this. Years ago, the head of R & D HR at a pharma company I worked for, joked with me about how hard it was to give an “average” performance appraisal rating to someone with a PhD from Harvard. He was joking, but we’re not laughing now. Consider the following:
If a college student needs counseling because of a bad grade, what happens when she receives negative feedback?
An employer may get a phone call from a parent, of course, but it’s easy enough to say, “I can’t discuss personnel issues with you,” and hang up. What about the employee who lacks resilience? Is this employee sobbing in the bathroom? Does this employee take any feedback as a sign of illegal discrimination?
You can say, of course, that it was simply well deserved negative feedback, but that doesn’t mean the employee can’t contact the EEOC or an employment attorney. Your case may be airtight, but it costs you money to defend it, and you may permanently damage the employee-manager relationship.
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Where will you get your new ideas?
You can think of them, of course, but even Steve Jobs didn’t develop Apple products all by himself. One of the problems with young adults lacking resilience is that they do not take risks. Every time you present a new idea, you run the risk of getting shot down. This process is critical to success, but if your new employees panic at the thought of possible failure, you won’t get those new ideas.
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How do you evaluate managers?
Good businesses need good managers, just like good universities need good professors. At the university, professors sometimes feel pressure to acquiesce to student demands because their job depends, at least in part, on student evaluation. Tough professors may be great teachers, but if delicate students can’t be challenged, the professor has a choice to either wimp out or face poor student evaluations.
special snowflake
Is the same happening in business? A manager of exacting standards who requires quality work runs the risk of the special snowflakes running to HR and senior management at every turn.
How do you parent your children?
Are you doing your part to raise future adults, or are you focused on keeping your children happy? Do you jump at every request? Do you not trust your 7-year-old to use a knife? Do you yell at teachers who dare give a bad grade to your child? If so, you’re part of the problem.
Children don’t learn resilience by having mom and dad solving every problem. And if they don’t learn resilience in childhood, they won’t magically develop it as college students. If they don’t have it as college students? They will have to learn it the workplace. So, if you don’t want to impose that nightmare on future managers, at least fix it in your house.
Not every young person lacks resilience.
While colleges are seeing a rise in this behavior, it’s not at 100 percent. There are great people out there if you’re willing to find them. Take a look at candidates who have failed in the past. They’re the ones who have faced adversity, and that’s a great start on the road to success. That’s what you’re looking for in an employee. And if you hire someone who exudes perfection, be careful — that perfection could be the result of a whole herd of parents and teachers smoothing the pathway, and not the sign of a candidate who has learned to handle real challenges.
This doesn’t surprise me. Have you seen what’s happening in education and our culture?

DCG

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0 responses to “Why You Should Be Terrified of the Rising Millennial and Gen Z Workforce

  1. The gap between how the Millennials perceive themselves and how their bosses see them is dismaying. The source of the Millennials’ self-delusion is their narcissism, about which we have plenty evidence in study after study since the 1980s chronicling an ever-increasing level of narcissism among U.S. college students. At the core of narcissism is a contrived, grandiose false self, which means narcissists are defective in reality assessment, beginning with an accurate and honest assessment of themselves.
    Another attribute of pathological narcissism is their scapegoating, i.e., blaming others for their problems — which accounts for the increase in accusations & lawsuits about being subjected to “micro aggression” and worse, making academia increasingly unmanageable.

     
  2. Tremendous Post FOTM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

     
  3. Reblogged this on K2 GLOBAL COMMUNICATIONS LLC and commented:
    “Dr. Gray quotes from the head of counseling at Boston College, who writes:
    “I have done a considerable amount of reading and research in recent months on the topic of resilience in college students. Our students are no different from what is being reported across the country on the state of late adolescence/early adulthood. There has been an increase in diagnosable mental health problems, but there has also been a decrease in the ability of many young people to manage the everyday bumps in the road of life. Whether we want it or not, these students are bringing their struggles to their teachers and others on campus who deal with students on a day-to-day basis. The lack of resilience is interfering with the academic mission of the University and is thwarting the emotional and personal development of students. (Emphasis is mine.)”” ~ Excerpt

     
  4. These are millennials? I thought the Millennials would be those who will be present during the thousand-year reign of Christ at his second coming.

     
    • Ah, “millenials” are the so-called Generation Y born 1982- 2004 or so; i.e., kids Baby Boomers actually wanted. (As opposed to Generation X, born 1964- 82 when Baby Boomers were too busy with ‘Nam, the ’60s, abortion, the ’70s, divorce, etc. to have kids or stable families so it’s about half the size of the cohorts before and after it.) Gen Y kids tend to be helicopter-parented “special snowflakes” where Gen X were “latch-key” kids. Prefer your definition… Christ may not be impressed with some of them, though.

       
  5. This might be going a little far a field, but I was raised on movies where we had very strong, brave male role models . . . John Wayne, Gary Cooper, Charlton Heston, etc. etc. etc. Now we see no heros, and young people cannot find people of quality to emulate. It shows in the deterioration of our society.

     
    • I think your statement says more than you can even imagine. Look at the examples these kids have now to follow. Scary stuff.
      If I had college age children now, I would think twice about sending them or be very careful where they would attend school. They seem to return a different person and not for the good.

       
    • the only “heroes” today are heroines…even when a male is the hero it’s usually only because a stronger female helped him. Quite pathetic!
      males today have no real men to model after…by design

       
  6. Michael Savage—no Barry Goldwater conservative, he (despite his protestations to the contrary)—has said “only the savage can save England.” I don’t care about England; I care about America.
    We have a generation of GIRLY MEN on our hands, thanks to the POISON OF FEMINISM. This has been brought to us by the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations, the Rand Corporation and the CIA. And it’s been with us for over 50 years now.
    This is not to say it will require 50 years to get rid of—quite the contrary. Feminism is ARGUING FINE POINTS with common sense men. This means they are RUNNING SCARED. But they still have the upper hand in the debate. We have to ignore the Girly Men (e.g. Chris Matthews) and the Manly Girls (e.g. Rachel Madcow) and soldier on. WE NEED SOME VIKINGS HERE AND NOW!
    Only the VIKING MEN can save America! We have a few. They are not “in hiding”; They are merely living their lives. To paraphrase David Rockefeller, all we need is the right crisis, and America will be ready to accept the VIKING MEN!

     
  7. Another scary thought, we know there is a war brewing and will eventually land here and this generation will be left to protect us. Our military has been purged to dangerous levels. Will their parents be the ones to pick up arms?

     
  8. Having been a public school teacher for many years…I have experienced the sea-change in our today’s school students….I first taught “general” math, then a stint in special ed….a few years in ESL…..many years in Gifted English and History partnered with the best science teacher in the district (IMO)….and now, many years in art and/or History. Believe it or don’t—I’ve had to DUMB DOWN even my ART program b/c of just some of what was discussed on this post—-it is soooooo sad, but even my nicest, most achievement-oriented kids today are afraid to risk failure …even in art. Thus….creativity is not flowing so freely in my classroom these days….Much of education should center around “problem-solving,” even in art or dance or drama….as well as academia….but our kids these days need someone to hold their hand every step of the way…assuring them that they are “right.” I don’t exactly know where this all came from…Helicopter Parenting? From the idea that “everyone gets a participation award? From No Child Left Behind? Emphasis on teaching to the test? Extended childhoods? Small family sizes? Modern media, mercantilism,or myth?

     

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