There is a great deal of interest at the present time in understanding what motivates Millennials and why they behave the way they do within the workplace.  In fact, the interest is on the rise as it would appear that they are behaving very differently than past generations.  Employers have been known to consider them one homogeneous group, thus placing them all in the same stereo typical box with mis-construed labels – such as “Entitled, Lazy, Impatient, Demanding and Unreliable as Team Members.” They have been unfairly categorized.  In fact, we the Generation Xers and Baby Boomers have raised them to  stand up for themselves, to ask questions, told that their opinions matter and have been given a variety of choices versus simply given inflexible directives  - as was done in the past.

With the never ending need to ensure employers are able to attract and retain talented people, the desire to create an environment that is conducive to delivering exceptional performance is also at the forefront. The importance of effective recruiting practices has led to greater interest and activity in engaging recruitment firms. Ensuring retention rates are high has led to a greater emphasis with onboarding plans, that allow employees to understand not only their roles, but also how their role fits in with the rest of the company and the vision and goals of the organization. The importance of FIT within a company has never been greater.  

Another unique observation that has surfaced, is that employers have come to realize that gone are the days they can assume that everyone who joins their organization WANTS to stay for 15, 10 or even 5 years! Millennials have started a new trend of remaining loyal with a company for only 2-3 years, and this has provided an interesting opportunity for those individuals over the age of 50-55 looking to seek out one last role before they retire. This group, having been perhaps shunned for being too close to retirement to bother investing in and hiring them, are now seem as a group whose behavior is understood in the workforce, who’s work ethic is known, and who can commit the next 3-5 years with as much rigor and talent as anyone younger. This group is now being looked upon very favorably as potential candidates for roles that may turnover in three years, anyways! Thank You Millennials! 

So, is there any type of behavior that is valued and transcends all generations of employees?

Yes! Regardless of how many generations we have working within any workplace, simply being a GREAT employee will never go out of style nor will it ever lose its importance! In fact, there is no excuse to suddenly feel that the most basic of working behaviors is no longer relevant, is no longer being noticed, or the LACK of it cannot be at the root of any dismissal – Millennial, Gen X, or Baby Boomer!

Being an effective and contributing employee is what each individual wants to be and what every organization wants to employ! To best understand, what these behaviors are, the following is a list of questions, which can form a part of an exit interview or an annual performance review.  It looks pretty straight forward…the answers are all multiple choice, A, B, or C ….but I’ll give you a hint…the answer should ALWAYS be A! Try it….and then everyday while at work, check your behavior….it’s NOT just a millennial thing…..it’s an EVERY employee thing!

Performance quiz answer options:

  1. I do this more than 90% of the time
  2. I could improve on this
  3. I should improve on this

Performance quiz questions: 

  1. Are you on time for meetings?
  2. Are you prepared for your meetings; with proper notes and status reports to share?
  3. Do you meet tight deadlines?
  4. Are your reports, e.g. status/ expense reports, in on time?
  5. Do you respond to emails in a prompt manner?
  6. Are you respectful in communicating your responses to the C-Suite in a timely manner?
  7. Do you see the requests of the C-Suite as priority and do you provide the needed support?
  8. Do you respect your peers and your managers?
  9. If you have competing priorities with your peers and your managers do you clarify them?
  10. Do you follow the dress code?
  11. Do you speak to others in a professional manner (i.e. no swearing; emails/texts are kind and complete)?
  12. Are you open and mindful to the ideas of others?
  13. Do you seek feedback from your team?
  14. Are you open to criticism and change?
  15. Do you put work plans in place?
  16. A weekly plan?
  17. A monthly plan?
  18. A long term plan?
  19. Are you willing to do what it takes to get the job done?
  20. If you say you are going to do something, do you follow through and get it done?
  21. Do you communicate any change in priorities to your team on a daily basis so the end result is successful?
  22. Do you keep the confidences of your co-workers and the company?
  23. Have you set a process in place to cover your work when you are sick or on vacation?