Why Millennials are a failed generation


09 Feb Why Millennials are a failed generation

Millennials are the generation born from about 1990 onwards. Many of them have recently entered, or are entering, the workplace… And they’re turning the corporate world into mayhem.

They’re a tough generation to manage and perceived as lazy, unfocused, self-interested and entitled.

Most of all, they seem to be incapable of attaining job satisfaction even when they work in organisations that go out of their way to listen to them… and accommodate them in various ways.

Here’s why…

Millennials have the lowest self-esteem of all generations!

As hard as it may be to believe, this is a cruel reality and it continues to widen the rift between the Millennials and previous generations who have to sit amongst them in meetings, engage with them on projects and manage them on a daily basis.

Simon Sinek, a marketing consultant and author in America, hits the nail on the head in his recent video, and confirms what Youth Dynamix (YDx) has been sharing with its clients for years…

He explains the four-part problem…

  • Failed parenting: Millennials are dealt a bad hand with today’s modern parenting strategies that involves telling them they’re special all the time and that they can have anything they want in life, and rewarding them merely for participating (winners and losers get rewarded equally). To their shock-and-horror, it doesn’t take them very long after they enter the workplace to discover that they can’t get anything they want, their parents can’t help them get promoted and it’s not that great coming in in last place anymore. The result: A generation lacking self-esteem.

YDx explains that Millennial’s parents have had to overcompensate for their absence while they’re out making a name for themselves in a cut-throat corporate environment… Only mystically appearing in full force now and again for ‘little Johnny’s’ lavish birthday party or when he complains about a teacher. Parents need to be more involved in their children’s lives every day, throughout the ups and downs as that’s how they FIRST learn to build relationships, build trust and understand that life does not always go their way – but they are still loved.

  • The technological disadvantage: While Millennials may be able to hack into a secure network before you’ve figured out how to change your screen settings, they’re at a greater disadvantage in life for being so tech-savvy. Why? Because they grew up with a phone in their hands… Their happiness hangs on a thread called social media. They feel great when they get ‘Likes’ and shares online and highly stressed out when they’re unfriended or ignored. The ‘highs’ they feel when they engage on social media are ‘turned on’ by a highly addictive chemical the body releases called dopamine. The result: a generation who are addicted to their phones and incapable of forming meaningful personal relationships, reaching out for help, or relying on their friends and peers for support.

YDx has been involved with a number of leading brands in Africa in bridging the gap between university or college and the workplace. ‘We recognised that no matter how educated graduates are, they lack basic lifeskills and many lack the critical ingredient – emotional intelligence – both essential for the workplace. We help develop and deliver these valuable programmes to Millennials before they enter the workplace,’ explains Jane Lyne-Kritzinger, MD of YDx.

  • Instant gratification: Everything Millennials wanted growing up, they got instantly. Starting right from a more astute parent who jumped the second they whimpered in their cots, to instantly being able to access an incredible volume and array of information online, including being able to download on-demand, movies, music, books, you name it… The result: Millennials have absolutely no idea how to steadily work towards job satisfaction or any other goals, how to build trust, nurture meaningful relationships or enjoy the fruits from all the other social skills previous generations learned by engaging in small talk in the lift, at the water cooler or while waiting for a meeting to start instead of fidgeting with their phones.

YDx explains that thanks to filtered modern TV, magazine and social media content, the youth don’t connect hard work, struggle or perseverance with seemingly happy and successful outcomes. ‘Due to this media misrepresentation, Millennials don’t see ‘The process of becoming’ so they automatically assume that you’re able to achieve success just by merely showing up for a short period of time,’ says Andrea Kraushaar, Insights and Research Director at YDx.      

  • Business: Since the Industrial Revolution, previous generations have been deeply focused on the bottom line and other capitalistic short-term gains. They are no-where near the same mind set the Millennials are in and they’re poorly equipped to be the leaders they should be to inspire the Millennials instead of constantly shooting them down (figuratively of course!) This ties in strongly with the critical need of better developed emotional intelligence amongst millennial and business leaders alike. The result: Previous generations add to the Millennials’ frustration by further eroding their self-confidence.

YDx published an article in 2016 proposing that corporates allow Millennials to trial a few departments before recruiting them into their entry-level role. ‘They need to experience what it’s like to do lots of tasks while building multiple relationships and lifeskills before they settle down,’ adds Jane.

The world has seen an increase in depression, suicides, school dropouts and drug overdoses. These are a desperate cry for help from a failed generation. A generation that MUST learn to separate their personalities and identities from their devices if they want to survive.

To view Simon Sinek’s video, click here.