Will Millennials be intolerant employees? Could that be a good thing?

Posted On October 10, 2013

Millennials bring to the workplace a certain amount of self-righteousness.  They’ve had the participation trophies; they tend to be very philanthropic and altruistic; they are typically more socially open-minded.  And they don’t have any delusions that the job they take fresh out of school is the one they will retire from 40 years later.  Will that combination of traits make Millennial less tolerant of bad work environments?  And if so, will that make companies have to deal with unsavory situations more than they’ve maybe done in the past?  Will Dilbert need to find a new schtick?

That is the argument made by Forbes contributor Ruchika Tulshyan in her column, Millenials have the power to banish workplace bullying. Tulshyan proposes that Millennials, raised in a time of anti-bullying campaigns are better equipped to identify workplace bullying and better equipped to stop it. And, because Millennials neither expect loyalty from nor automatically grant it to their employers, Tulshyan believes they are uniquely positioned to vote with their feet.

It is an interesting take on the discussion of generations in the workplace, and I would agree that the perceived mobility of Millennials is a strong argument for their ability to shift cultures by choosing to disconnect with those that do not sit well. And a culture where bullying is accepted will not sit will – at least with anyone besides the bully.  What I’m not so sure of is whether or not the anti-bullying campaigns so prevalent in today’s schools are working and if they translate to an adult environment where power is real, not just created through the social pecking order. It is certainly a good discussion though as companies strive to meet the soft demands of a younger workforce increasingly interested in enjoying their jobs, not just surviving them.

Categories: Workplace