How managers view their Millennial workers

Hint: It's not flattering.
Written by Tyler Falk, Contributor

There's drama in the American workplace.

Okay, there's always office drama. But this runs deeper than gossip.

A new survey from Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and consulting firm, and American Express shows that while Millennials generally believe their managers can offer them experience (59%), wisdom (41%), and a willingness to mentor (33%), a similarly positive view isn't shared by managers of their Millennial workers.

The study, which gathered responses from 1,000 Millennials (22 to 29 years old) and 1,000 managers from U.S. companies of various sizes and industries, shows that managers view their younger workers as having unrealistic compensation expectations (51%), a poor work ethic (47%), and a knack for getting distracted (46%).

“Gen Y’s are crucial to the development and growth of our economy, yet managers have a negative impression of them and it’s creating workplace drama," said Dan Schawbel, founder of Millennial Branding, a research firm, in a press release. "Managers should be setting proper expectations, giving them career support and help them develop the skills they will need today and in the future.”

Other findings from the survey:

  • Managers were supportive (58%) of entrepreneurial ambition of Millennials, but Millennials weren't interested in those opportunities (40%).
  • Managers were also supportive (73%) of Gen Y employees wanting to move around within the company, but Millennials weren't interested in making a move (48%).
  • While Millennials think they should have rights to their social media profile (69%), only 54% of managers agreed.
  • The top three most important skills that managers are looking for when promoting Millennials: the ability to prioritize work (87%), a positive attitude (86%) and teamwork skills (86%).

One place where their thinking didn't diverge? How they communicate. In-person meetings are the preferred way managers like to communicate with their Gen Y employees (66%), while 62% of Gen Y prefer the in-person meeting. The next favorite for both groups? Email.

While there is clearly some disconnect in the workplace. Maybe some of these gaps could be bridged through mentoring, which 53% of Millennials say would help them become a "more productive contributor to their company."

Is there a generational conflict playing out in your office? Tell us about it.

Read more: Millennial Branding

Photo: Flickr/Victor1558

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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