-Socrates, circa 469–399 B.C.
Socrates’ youth of ancient Greece would fit in well here.
Drugged by technology, today’s youth lacks initiative. Poor work habits are a cancer in youth culture. Gen Y, also called “Millennials,” those born in the early 1980s through the turn of the century, are already showing America that its future work ethic is in big trouble.
Millennials have been gifted with advantages not seen in any preceding generation. Smart phones and the Internet have shaped today’s youth in ways no one foresaw. The results have not been good.
While information sharing is on the rise, attitudes towards productivity and respect are on the decline. Mr. Youth, a marketing and technology agency that studies Gen Y, reported in its Class of 2015 publication that 40 percent of those surveyed said they check their Facebook more than 10 times per day. A whopping 76 percent said they spend more than one full hour per day on the site.
This interferes with productivity. Employers seek efficiency from their staffs. Scrolling through tedious notifications is not what employers are paying for. Time spent surfing the web is better spent getting actual work done. Those guilty of iPhone obsession do not see a problem with their behavior.
Millennials take offense in being told to do what they are supposed to do.
Gen Y-ers have earned the dubious reputation as a “me first” cohort, in large part thanks to new waves of technology providing instant gratification. Millenials need it like a heroin addict needs a fix. A picture posted to Instagram allows them to receive an immediate burst of feedback and relevance.
Earlier generations would do good work regardless of whether or not they were praised. Today any amount of work being completed is expected to garner pats on the back and high fives.
Millenials shy away from work because it simply does not suit their needs. For most, a finished product is itself gratification. Gen Y “”workers” will work hard only if they believe there is something in it for them.
“Gen Y-bother” also lacks respect for authority, especially from leaders their own age. Unless someone is much older, Millenials feel no respect. It should not matter who is giving the orders. The important thing is that they are followed. A rabid sense of entitlement is to blame. “Why should I?”
There are leaders and there are followers. Mutual respect between the two needs to exist. It is not a matter of controlling subordinates, but keeping them on track. No offense should be taken for someone actually doing his or her job. If there is a problem, the unemployment line is a lot less forgiving than a hostile boss.
Forbes Magazine concludes by the end of 2015 more than 40 percent of the workforce will consist of Millennials. By 2025 that number will rise to 75 percent. This is cause for concern.
Unless Gen Y can pull itself from its cesspool of entitlement, lack of respect and poor work ethic, things in America are destined to be worse.
Pull it together Generation Y! Put away your phones and get to work. Your country is counting on you.