My Dream Big Observation: 12/29/17


Evelina and I had a conversation last night about some young people with whom she works.  I don’t want to generalize, but when I added her experience to those I’ve had with the millennials in the newspaper biz, I am left with a little fear for our future.  Now before some of you blow up my email inbox, I’m not saying that every single youngster has all the same problems.  But I am beginning to notice that the vast majority of the younger generation display many of the same social issues at work.

In this situation a young man was stressing over talking to his boss at the firm about being uncomfortable with a few tasks he has recently been delegated and confided in my wife for advice.  She explained to the lad that he needed to go to his boss and be honest, explain his situation and talk through the problem.  After many minutes of giving advice the youngster asked my wife to go have the conversation for him.  Obviously she didn’t.

Last night when Evelina and I were talking about the situation she explained to me that this boy didn’t comprehend how to express himself to his boss.  In his view this was conflict and he had no clue how to proceed.  The sad thing is I see this in millennials my company has hired time after time after time.  We’ve had them quit without calling in.  We’ve had them take multiple days off without letting anyone know they weren’t coming in.  We’ve had them crying at work because of a simple reprimand and admonishment.

To make sure I’m not generalizing I reached out to three friends who work in HR for three separate companies and they experience the same challenges.  I’m not sure why, but it seems that this generation has an issue with communication, work skills and basic social etiquette.  One of our papers hired a young man who said “cool” so often that they couldn’t put him in front of clients.  I know the managers attempted to coach him, but he didn’t possess the professional skills required to speak (for lack of better words) like an adult.

And there are countless articles I’ve read that express a similar theme: our young people have been raised in an online world and many simply don’t feel comfortable speaking to live human beings in a professional setting.  And I can confirm that this is 1000% my experience with them.  Most don’t understand the value of a firm handshake.  They don’t feel comfortable, nor understand, how to conduct themselves in a professional business dinner meeting.  They don’t possess the skill set to sit down and speak with a business owner and simply partake in small talk.

And don’t even get me started on time management.

According to my HR friends the problems they most often deal with when working with younger employees are as follows: they give up easily when challenged.  They think  admonishment is bullying.  They show up late and want to leave early.  Many lack the ability to communicate in writing.  They lack the ability to problem-solve.  They struggle when working on projects in groups.  They struggle in interviews.  And they lack the ability to negotiate through workplace conflicts.

When I listened to my friend Donna talk about her young employees I couldn’t help but feel so many emotions.  What is happening to our younger generations?  It almost feels like “internet-gone-wrong”.  What I mean is that we unleashed the internet on a population of youngsters and had no clue what impact it would have on them.  Let’s face it, we know what Facebook has done to productivity at work among adults!  Adults spend up to 8 hours per week on their personal device while on the job.  And if the digital world is having such a dramatic impact on adults, imagine what it is doing to our children!

Industries that rely on skilled labor are struggling.  Industries which rely on inside and outside sales staff are struggling.  Industries which rely on face-to-face, real-life interactions are struggling to find and keep younger employees and I have no clue what the solution might be; and neither does anyone else.  I’ve not read a single industry-related publication that has announced “We figured it out!”.  Quite the contrary.  Industry leaders are perplexed.

One article I read relabeled the Millennial generation as “Generation Lacking” and, sadly, I must agree.  The saddest part of all is none of this is their fault!!  They’ve been raised in a world which puts more emphasis on social media than on social interaction.

My final conclusion is that in 100 years experts will look back at what we did to these kids by allowing them to have smart devices at such young ages much like we now view the use of mercury in making hats so many years ago.


38 thoughts on “My Dream Big Observation: 12/29/17

  1. I think you may be right. The internet is great in many ways, but it’s been horrible in many others. I try not to be the old guy that criticizes “these damn kids today”. My grandparents thought much the same about our generation. I think that is common from one generation to the next one or two generations. You did say one thing that I totally agree with though. The value of a firm handshake, direct eye contact when introduced, and basic manners seem to be sorely lacking. And these 3 basic things can carry someone far, making a great first impression to employers and clients alike. And can we please dispense of the disrespect shit? That’s outta hand. I firmly believe respect is earned. Period. All of these are things I’ve stressed to my boys for as long they’ve been able to talk. I hope they’re listening. 😃

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My observations generally match yours, though I have also observed some stellar exceptions, so I do have some hope that the damage was not universal.

    I also wonder, too, how much of this is cultural. For example, did this phenomenon only affect kids in what we think of as “the West” (i.e. the US, Canada, western Europe)? Or did it also affect a generation of kids in Europe, Asia, etc.? If it was a world-wide phenomenon, we may be seeing a shift in accepted norms of human behavior. In other words, this may just be “the way it is” from now on.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rumor has it…Asians are hard working. 😛 I don’t know for fact though, but it is said why they are so smart and do well in things like math etc. Their cultural upbringing. So when Asians come to the west and people make stereotypes like why are they so good at math, smart in other subjects or so responsible? It is because apparently since children in certain parts of Asia it is drilled into their brains from morning to do their work.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I agree, Xaspierudegirlx. I’m certainly no expert on this subject, but everything I’ve read has said that the difference is not due to innate differences in IQ, but is mostly due to cultural factors (i.e. Asians encourage and emphasize math and science, where as we here in the west ridicule such things as being “nerdy”). I also believe we are in the midst of a colossal worldwide merging, melding, and mixing of cultures and economies, the true results of which may not be known for another 25 or 50 years. It will certainly be interesting!


  3. I don’t believe it is social media. They have parents who aren’t teaching them these skills. Many of the parents didn’t grow up with social media stuck to their hands. If you don’t teach your child social skills and discuss ways to act in different settings. They don’t know what to do. Parents need to be the bosses of their kids life not social media. I’m pretty hardline about this. It’s not super challenging to teach a young child to look at people when they speak, to finish something they started, be honest, have integrity, etc. Teachers of young children do it on a regular basis and they 16 or more kids to work with at a time.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I believe a large segment of today’s youth are raised by themselves sitting in front of a gaming system or online with their friends. As long as they are not causing problems, parents think everything is okay.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Agreed. But you can’t really raise yourself. That lack of parental input sends a bunch of messages. One being you don’t matter very much. I don’t need to take the time to be with you. Why would a kid think they have value at work or anywhere. Never mind that all those social things need to be taught. Plain and simple. There are lots of people my age who don’t have the social skills at work as well. If it wasn’t taught…then if you don’t teach yourself….they won’t exist for you.

        Liked by 1 person

      • OMG!!!!! I’m working with my web designer to create that. My old sight I easily set it up. This sight I haven’t spent the time to figure it all out. I want a like button and a reblog. It looks like you sent some info that can help me. Of course, I really need to sit down and just figure it out. I didn’t get far last time I did. :> I will also make this a New Year’s Resolution!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I know I ranted on your other post but more thoughts… and I over all agree with you, but then can we blame the older generation for failing the millenials? We blame the youth like it si so easy, but who the heck raised them? I am not taking it personally, I am of the milenials and it’s bad. So bad actually. I think is maybe what happened is each generation is getting worse and it has finally hitting a breaking point. Like woot humanity this is your result. Sure my parents may have worked harder than I did, but they also worked for less money etc, more problems in society, my grandparents grew up in poverty. I may not be entitiled, but I don’t want anyone to grow up in poverty and I am glad I didn’t. I will make sure my family doesn;t either. No generation was great or perfect is what I am getting at. Now is what we are seeing is kinda what my dad said “children growing up in the technology generation and parents who make a lot more money and wealthier that they don’t know what to do with the money. So yes kids are getting spoiled” things like that. So I don’t think millenials are really to blame or the only ones failing society. Everyone is, and each generation has it’s pros and cons. I thank some of the ways my parents raised me compared to the way their parents raised them, and in other ways I disagree with. In which is up to me to do better as a parent. But now that we have seen the failing results the finger is pointed and expected it to be fixed.

    I guess in my experience I am use to older generations saying I grew up a hard working man, responsible and blah blah, but on the other side my family was always struggling, poor etc. I wouldn’t want to grow up in many generations that have been thus far. You got the Nazi Germany and world war generations, not good times, the 60’s was drugs everywhere and so on. So I guess my question to anyone is what is the most ideal generation to grow up in? What one did the best? And even then how did it get to where it is now? Who failed who? When did it fail? Why?

    As for social media is easy for me. Phones, video games and tv replaced parents and babysitters. Social media of any kind and technology cannot be blamed, parents could still manage their children’s time on Xbox, buy a phone when they are responsible enough to have one (not at 12 years old and use assaniting excuses like so they can call their parents etc. Pretty sure we survived before without cell phones) if your 12 year old wants facebook fine but make some kind of deal such as you get to see what they do on it within reason. Or have their password to it etc. Is what has happened is the vido game console or phone etc has come into your house and child’s life and has replaced you as a parent. So once again lack of parenting is too blame.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You kind of summed up my statement when I said it isn’t the fault of the kids that they are how they are. Another incredibly sad fact is millennials are more depressed than any other generation in modern times.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Another theory however and I am sure there are many theories, is are we more depressed? Or now we just know what depression is and how to diagnose it etc. Back in the day no diagnoses really happened or existed, people were just shamed and called weird. However I don’t think it is that, just another weird theory or thought. I do think today’s generations is more depressed and it is for all different reasons and like you said not our fault.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Danny, while I understand your point of view and all of the research you did, there are many benefits to having Millennials in the workforce, if the company is willing to be open to adjusting their communication structure to suit all age groups. I read the article I am including and found it to be insightful and offering a positive aspect to learning to communicate differently so that everyone in the organization benefits. This is my humble opinion and like everyone who has commented here, we all have a different perspective based on our own experiences and personal beliefs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Another huge issue is as a collective group they job hop so quickly that it makes it incredibly difficult for companies to cater to them. Companies are struggling to try to understand how to communicate, but millennials as a whole are not doing themselves any favors by quitting. The young man I mentioned at Evelina’s firm just quit…after being on the job 4 days. 4! days. lol. My friend owns a women’s boutique and she has hired 10 twenty somethings for the holiday season. 6 quit after only working a few days. I’m not sure what it is, but this generation has a no-patience policy. If they lose interest they do not stick around.

      Liked by 1 person

    • And I hope you don’t think I’m being argumentative because that isn’t my intent. My point is I have a genuine concern for these young people and no one seems to have a solution. I do believe too much digital is taking them out of the real world.

      Liked by 1 person

      • No, I don’t Danny. I am at a point where I believe that those people may see the world much differently than people have previously. I, myself, cannot possibly understand their issue unless I had a heart to heart with them to be able to come to an understanding of why they’re doing what they are and how to make things workable. I have a couple of nephews in that age group that are compassionate and hard-working so my experience is a bit different.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you, Danny, for reblogging my post, I am grateful being connected with you. I appreciate your blog and the diverse conversations we have, Happy New Year!! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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