Millennials Getting Their Way

Posted On August 23, 2012

As Millennials enter the work force in large numbers, the perception has been that they are demanding or “entitled” as a group. In spite of the complaints of older generations of managers and executives along these lines, many substantial firms are making adjustments to accommodate the youngest generation in the workforce, according to an analysis by the Wall Street Journal this week.

Millennials will comprise nearly half the workforce by the end of the decade so many firms are choosing to meet them where they are rather than risk alienating a generation of employees. A few of the case studies cited include:

  • Aprimo, a software firm, instituted a program called OnTrack, which guarantees promotion after a year of fulfilled obligations. The number of Millennials on staff has doubled.
  • Schneider Electric launched an 18-month mentoring and job-rotation program for Millennial hires. Several young hires became top performers.
  • Ocean Spray Cranberries changed its feedback policy (more frequent and immediate) and made the work schedule flexible.
  • Chegg, Inc., an online textbook firm, eliminated some middle management bureaucracy to give Millennials more opportunities for big projects and instituted unlimited paid vacations. No one has yet abused the policy.

In most cases, the changes met with resistance from experienced managers but ultimately produced positive results. Most companies felt they really had no choice. “We know we’re competing against a lot of companies located in Boston, and we know we’re going to have to think differently if we want to keep young people here,” remarked an Ocean Spray exec.

Categories: Workplace