Think the “Millennial’s” are hard to deal with? Perhaps you just do not understand them. The millennial’s – workers under the age of 30 have a different perspective on the work/life ratio than the baby boomer generation and even many within generation X.
The millennial’s work to live rather than live to work. Although they are techno savvy with their smart phones and ipads, they are not married to their jobs. Many employers feel there is a disconnect with this generation, that they do not understand the importance of business, and perceive the millennial’s as lacking loyalty. To the contrary, the millennial’s fully understand businesses, perhaps better than most when it is referenced as a global economy and as far as loyalty – what has business done in the last decade to install worker loyalty?
Here are few items to help you better understand the millennial generation.

  1. Millennial’s need work/life balance and if you cannot provide it, they will leave. This is not negotiable in their eyes. They grew up watching their parents work so they could retire only to see them die too soon before enjoying the fruits of their labor. Millennial’s are determined to enjoy life as they live it.
  2. Millennial’s expect to work for more than 20 employers over their lifetime. The baby boomers planned to work for 1-3.
  3. They do not understand the importance placed on “Paying their dues” – to them it is black and white – being qualified to do something is not measure in days or years. If they are not progressing at the speed they feel is appropriate they will move on. They do not see this as disloyal; they see it as a natural progression.
  4. Millennial’s want to be part of a cause that is larger than they are. When they find one they will give a great deal of time and energy to it. Although they have been labeled as wanted large bonuses and big salaries, money by itself is not a motivator.
  5. Although they are not loyal to companies they are loyal to people.

The millennial generation is the future of the fire service. Prepare you organization for the transition by learning and accepting who they are and what they stand for by reading books and sitting down and talking to them.

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