It is difficult to define an entire generation as having the same traits. People are the ultimate variable which leads to vastly different traits amongst millions of people in a generation. Some of the early descriptions of Millennials may not be entirely accurate.
There are a handful of findings from this Human Resource Executive article that cut against the conventional wisdom regarding Millennials. Some things are timeless while other factors are somewhat surprising.
The desire to advance within a company is well documented with the younger generations. The Millennials often start a new role with their eye already on the next promotion. However, they seem to have an ulterior motive for moving up:
Hierarchical advancement does matter. Certain models show that recently promoted millennials are substantially more likely to leave their employer, suggesting they may leverage promotions to secure other opportunities.
Isn’t that interesting? We work with our customers to ensure they are plotting a career path for their Millennial workers. Keep it clear or they will look for another opportunity.
This next bullet from the article is not surprising.
Supervisors’ characteristics matter. Millennials are far less likely to leave when they report to highly-rated supervisors or to female supervisors. And they are substantially more likely to quit if their supervisor quits.
People like to work for talented bosses…that is true regardless of generation. Retention can be tied directly to the manager and is a stat you should track for all of your managers. Millennials are just like the older generations in that they tend to not change jobs when they have a strong leader.
There are certainly unique traits amongst the Millennial generation. However, it does appear that perhaps there were a few too many generalizations about the generation. Perhaps they do subscribe to many of the long-standing employment goals and traditions.