Those "Lazy" Millennials
A recent Pew Research Center report on millennials noted the majority of millennials interviewed reported having a lack of a work ethic. A Washington Post article expanded on this idea.
Millennials in the report were asked to pick out a phrase describing their generation. The highest was "technology use" with 24 percent, with "music/pop culture" following after that. Only five percent said "work ethic" -- the same percent who also said "clothes."
Is this a fair portrayal of the millennial generation? Unfortunately, maybe. Although I believe I'm a millennial who has a good work ethic, I know that can't be said for all people of my age. However, I know a good number of people in my generation who would not describe themselves as lazy.
In a blog post, Erica Williams, a millennial activist, said this may be a self-fulfilling prophecy for my generation. Millennials are told they are lazy and have a lack of work ethic, so they act that way.
To me, this just seems like a stereotype. I believe studies on generational differences are usually founded in fact, but a lot of times, I think grouping generations with different characteristics is stereotyping. Yeah, sure, there are lazy millennials--but I bet there are also a large number of lazy baby boomers. Another "characteristic" of baby boomers is they are sometimes "change resistant," something David Glenn briefly touches on in an ADVANCE article from 2003. Again, sure, I bet a lot of baby boomers are afraid of change, but I bet there are also a group of them who are excited to learn the new technology in your lab; just as there are probably a group of millennials who hate change.
Have you found the typical "characteristics" of generations in your workplace are accurate, or do they tend to be stereotypical? Do the millennials in your workplace lack a good work ethic?
Back to work for me -- I'm not falling into that "lazy" millennial trap!