The Problem with Millennials

This week’s post is written by Ross Garner (@R0ssGarner). Ross is an Online Instructional Designer at GoodPractice and the most recent addition to the #chat2lrn crew. Unfortunately, he is one of the golden generation: born between 1980 and 2000, he expects to be praised for the slightest effort and loses interest after 140 characters…

Image courtesy Flickr user musyani75.

Image courtesy Flickr user musyani75.

There’s a problem facing today’s organisations: millennials, those self-satisfied young folk born between the 1980s and early 200s.

Walk into any office and you’ll see them sitting there, smugly Snapchatting each other, getting distracted by smartphone notifications and popping out to run personal errands.

They’re narcissistic, pop-culture obsessed zombies: the product of participation medals, child locks and E! online. They think that a tweet is an appropriate medium for corporate communication and they get all of their news from Facebook.

They were told from an early age that they could be whatever they want to be, and they don’t half go on about it.

No job is ever good enough. No sooner have you hired one and spent a fortune on training than they’ve handed in their notice because something better has come along.

They don’t mind working evenings and weekends, but want to take time off whenever they please. They say they value feedback, but are crushed by the slightest criticism. They walk right up to the CEO with their great new business idea and expect it to be implemented immediately.

And don’t worry: they won’t be offended by all this. They won’t even have read this far. After 140 characters they’ll have switched to a new tab without even realising what they’re doing.

Or will they?

When I was at the ATD conference in Orlando earlier this year, almost every session I went to mentioned millennials. “Training needs to move online or millennials won’t engage with it”. “You’d better include badges so that millennials feel like they’ve been rewarded”. “You’d better chunk your training because millennials can’t focus for more than two minutes”.

But what’s the truth here? Do millennials have different expectations to their older colleagues? Do they learn differently? Do they even exist?

Join #chat2lrn to share your views and thoughts on “The Problem with Millennials” Thursday 8 October 8.00 PDT/11.00 EDT/16.00 BST.

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