The Big Difference Between Generations Does Not Exist: How Stereotypes About Millennials Affect The Labor Market

Heroes of steel Reprise 20 young employees belonging to generation Y (Millennials). The characters in the sketch are passionate about their smartphones, strongly demonstrate the superiority in technical matters, require immediate promotion and expect that the company will provide them with time off to “find yourself”. The fact that the characteristics of generation Y became the subject of parody on Saturday Night Live, shows how much the spirit of our time is permeated with myths about Millennials. We love to make fun of something that violates our comfort, and the young employees are the source of the threat for more Mature colleagues. So when one of the newcomers in Comedy shows jumps out office window behind their smartphone, older employees relieved.

The stereotype that has developed around the millenials, like all stereotypes in General, is an exaggeration arising from the uncertainty. Imaginary differences between eras has spawned an entire industry of home-grown consultants to resolve the conflict of generations in companies. However, a careful examination of this stereotype, like any other, can be debunked.

In the preparation of his book “the Unfair labeling. Why is it helpful to break generational stereotypes” I have carefully reviewed the arguments made by the supporters of the significance of differences between the generations. They are amazingly inconsistent, based on anecdotes and prejudices, and contain very little quantifiable data.

Stereotyping is a by — product of thinking, are programmed to divide a complex picture of the world in many categories. Can only marvel to prevalence of discrimination on the basis of belonging to a certain generation in recruitment. And because it happens in society, well aware of how dangerous it is to hang about labels. Lets see what data we actually have.

The millennial generation includes people born between 1980 and 2000, that is about 76 million people only in USA. The oldest of them, born in 1980, currently worked after College for approximately 15 years. Jr., born in 2000, continue to learn in high school, that is, they will not qualify for jobs for six or eight years. Can we assume that all of these people have even remotely similar tastes, abilities, or expectations.

Are we to assume that members of generation Y belong to the category of people other than the generation of baby boomers. And it is precisely the comparison of these two generations is the main source of fear. The baby boomers think they are dislodged by new scenes, revealing the way generation, which is characterized by higher speed of thinking. According to the stereotype, the youth of generation Y at least easier to new technologies, and this is enough in order to more Mature people felt threatened.

The study that I conducted for his doctoral thesis, showed that the stereotypes are not baseless, and utterly pointless. I interviewed 300 experts, a railway company about their preferences in educational technology. In the study, I asked the representative of each generation to transfer educational technology, which he uses.

The results of the survey did not reveal the slightest difference between these two categories of people. Employees of different ages were exactly the same preferences. These statistics are impossible to scale because of the modest sample size, but they certainly turned out to be useful for specialists in training for the railway company. In addition, they showed the fallacy of the stereotype of the big differences between the generations.

Even academic research, from the pen of recognized experts in the field of generational issues, exaggerating the difference. They are based on unfair stereotypes, which lead the reader astray. Jean Twenge, doctor of philosophy and one of the most renowned authors and consultants on problems of generations, conducted numerous such studies.

One of them includes data from a variety of sources, which cover 1.4 million respondents and time period in 80 years. The study examines personality, attitudes to various issues and peoples behavior. Using a scale of social desirability Marlowe-crown, Twenge and her co-authors measured the “need for social approval” of each generation. The higher the score on this scale, the more members of the group are concerned about what impression they make on others tend to adhere to the business style of dress and act according to the rules.

However, the scale Marlowe-Crowne was not designed to measure the degree of rigor of clothing. It shows how much individuals are “fanning” your strengths and achievements, as well as deny the flaws, when I fill out questionnaires for the assessment of personal qualities. The results show that the generation X and the Millennials have the same level of need for social approval is one of the lowest in the entire history of observations.

Writers make a leap in his reasoning and conclude that generation X and millenials prefer informal to dress for work. These researchers describe even wrinkled sweatpants and flip-flops, which tend to wear the Millennials. We have to consider that in fact constitute such research.

Dubious tribute to the fashion developments, which simplifies and exaggerates the difference between generations, so people often clicked on the headlines on the Internet and buying more “smart” books. One could laugh over the SNL parody, in which the image of Millennials are shown in a satirical way, if this is a stereotypical perception not impact adversely on the labour market. People are portrayed as self-proclaimed know-it-alls who want to jump on the top step of the career ladder, ignoring their responsibilities.

As those who requires a combination of balance work, personal life and friendly atmosphere of the office. As workers who need time off for volunteer work (since they want to save the world), but which at the same time protesting even against mandatory overtime. Finally, the Millennials represent a people who are utterly advanced in terms of technology, but dont remember about social norms. There is no doubt that some Millennials are just.

But much more than those who do not meet these descriptions. If all the representatives of this generation were identical, managers would not have much to bother to understand everything about them. The temptation to divide people into categories, label them and to fit the stereotypes dictated by our desire to obtain simple answers to their questions.

Millennials, like everyone else, complex and diverse personality. This fact is reminiscent of the study conducted by Universum, emerging markets Institute, Insead and the Head Foundation. They interviewed more than 16 thousand people aged 18 to 30 in 43 countries and concluded that they are all stunningly different. And this difference is caused not only by age but also by many other factors, such as gender or nationality.

Today, employees-the Millennials dont get the job you are applying for, can not be promoted, remain outside the circle of friends in the team and lose the opportunity to obtain privileges due to preconceived notions about their abilities. It is necessary to draw attention to the issue of prejudice to employees of the new generation and to organize in opposition to people who are evaluating colleagues by their age. You need to ignore the opinions of experts, supply theoretical basis for the differences between the generations. You need to learn to judge specific people for personal qualities, not paying attention to the labels that they put on society.

There is no generic way to manage Millennials-hiring them or promoting their involvement in the life of the company. Instead, we have to deal with the more difficult task is to understand individuals who are close to us. Their motivation, drive, important for their tendencies, their quirks and preferences.

To follow any other things at work — it is simply more discrimination.

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