New book debunks common myths about Millennials in the Workplace

Last Updated: Jul. 7, 2014


Rob Nissen
Nissen Public Relations
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New book debunks common myths about Millennials in the Workplace

Managers and the media have it all wrong with their downbeat image of today's rising youth workforce. At least that's what leading generational expert Neil Howe contends in his new book, "Millennials in the Workplace." According to Howe, the Millennial Generation has the potential to become an enormous asset to employers who learn how to leverage their new set of strengths. 

Great Falls, VA – July 14, 2010. With Boomers on the verge of retirement, organizations are gearing up to hire large numbers of young Millennial employees—a fact that has most employers throwing up their hands. Complaints about this incoming generation abound. A 2009 Pew Research Center study found that a majority of older Americans believe today’s young adults are inferior to them in moral values, work ethic, and respect for others. Each month, media stories criticize Millennial employees for everything from poor grammar and short attention spans to flip flops and Facebook breaks.

In his new book Millennials in the Workplace: Human Resource Strategies for a New Generation leading generational expert Neil Howe turns this downbeat message on its head. Managers and the media have it all wrong, contends Howe: Today’s rising youth workforce is not a liability and a challenge, but an asset and an opportunity.

Ever wonder why these Millennials are so different?

It’s no surprise that managers, HR gurus, and the media misinterpret this new generation. As Millennials in the Workplace explains, the Millennials (born 1982-2004) are nothing like the earlier generations of Boomers (born 1943-1960) or Gen Xers (born 1961-1981).

“They are pressured and programmed,” explains Howe. “They are special and sheltered, bonded to their parents and networked to their friends. They want structure and instant feedback.  And they expect to be doted on and served.” Quite different from the Gen Xers, Millennials work well in teams and have complete confidence in their future.  Adds Howe, “They fear risk and dread failure, and they have pretty conventional life goals. Above all, they want the system to work!”

Howe offers insights and solutions for employers, educators, and policy makers.

Millennials in the Workplace provides cutting-edge strategies to help organizations recruit, retain, and motivate today’s incoming youth workforce.

Howe explains what’s behind this new Millennial wave—how increasing societal attention, parental involvement, and pressure to succeed have shaped the collective personality of today’s youth. He identifies seven core traits that define this generation: special, sheltered, confident, team oriented, conventional, pressured, and achieving.

Millennials in the Workplace offers a clear vision of how Millennials are changing the employment and hiring environment in America, including the rise of internships and early career planning, the new interest in community service initiatives, and managers’ complaints over “spoiled” young workers who lack “soft” workplace skills.

Howe offers a hands-on list of “what to dos” for employers, educators, and policy makers. He explains what many employers are doing wrong with Millennials—and what some companies are beginning to do right, from co-recruiting parents to implementing tight cycles of feedback to ramping up long-term benefits.

Howe authored Millennials in the Workplace with Reena Nadler, a Millennial employee of LifeCourse Associates.

About the Author

A national speaker and best-selling author, Neil Howe is America’s foremost expert on generations. Howe has coauthored many bestselling books with William Strauss, including Generations (1991), The Fourth Turning (1997), and Millennials Rising (2000). His Recruiting Millennials Handbook (2000) served as a guidebook for every branch of the U.S. military. Millennials Go to College (2003, 2007) has earned him speaking invitations at every major collegiate association, and Millennials and the Pop Culture (2006) is helping the entertainment industry navigate the shoals of its fast-changing market. His recently published Millennials in K-12 Schools (2007) explains the new youth and parental expectations to K-12 teachers and administrators.

The original coiner of the term “Millennial Generation,” Howe has redefined how America thinks about its post-Gen-X youth. His work on Millennials has been featured on CBS's 60 Minutes and the PBS Generation Next 2.0 special by Judy Woodruff.

About LifeCourse Associates

Howe and his longtime co-author William Strauss cofounded LifeCourse Associates, a publishing, speaking, and consulting company built around their generational discoveries. LifeCourse Associates has served over two hundred clients in a wide range of sectors—from Nike to Merrill Lynch, from Disney to the U.S. Marine Corps, from MTV and Paramount Pictures to the American Petroleum Institute and Ford Motor Company. A dozen federal agencies have turned to LifeCourse for strategic help, as have over a hundred colleges and K-12 school systems.

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