Millennials are Not From Outer Space

Millennials have gotten a bad rap from older managers who view them as some strange creatures from the black lagoon. They hear all these stories about the millennial generation and how they’re so difficult and demanding to work with. They are afraid that these strange young workers switch jobs often and are hard to please. Managers are sure that they need to offer unusual perks, like unlimited vacation, snack bars, foosball tables, and weekly massages.

The truth is that millennials are no different than baby boomers or Gen-Xers. The statistics from young workers and job tenure compared to past generations is not that different.

An article at “Quartz at Work” mentions some numbers that compare today’s Gen-Xers with past generations in the same phase of their careers. You can link to the article at The conclusion of the article is that millennial’s job hopping has helped their careers, but they state statistics that say they don’t job-hop any more than past generations at the same place in their careers. (The part about job hopping advantages is just a survey question. No stats for that.)

This is my point about addressing this perceived issue. Many older managers view millennials as a strange breed of people – from outer space. They are nervous about hiring them, training them, and dealing with them because they have heard nightmares about how they operate and how difficult it is to please them.

Millennials are really no different than any other generation. (Except maybe baby boomers. Remember the 60’s? That generation was really from outer space.)

Millennials are people, just anyone else. There is one difference – and I think it is a good one. They are severely out-in-front about everything. If people in past generations were treated unfairly – without respect – they would keep it to themselves for fear of losing their jobs or gossip with other workers about their bad manager. Millennials will make a post to Facebook or Twitter, or maybe even make an entry in their personal blog. That is actually an improvement in my mind. Managers will have better information about how their employees feel about their jobs and supervisors.

From generation to generation – baby boomers to Gen-Xers to Millennials to Gen-Zers or whatever “ers” that are next – people are the same. They deserve to be treated with respect and honor. Nothing else is necessary (except maybe being able to work remotely occasionally considering our technology these days).

This is how to keep any generation of people as employees longer, happier, and more productive – respect and honor.

  1. Get to know what drives and motivates your employees in their lives.
  2. Let them know what drives and motivates you. (They may think your generation is from Outer Space initially, too.)

That’s it. Success will follow.



Jack Zoellner (Relational Leadership Speaker)

Jack Zoellner is the "Relational Leadership Speaker." He shares his revolutionary 5-step M.A.G.I.C. method for managing workers and radical company culture change through speaking, writing and consulting. For your next event, book Jack here >>