I asked hundreds of entrepreneurs and business leaders of all generations how they thought Millennials were doing at work. Maybe I shouldn't be surprised at the reaction. Let's just say they had a lot to say. 

So much in fact that I had to split their answers into two parts. Part 1 was an examination of the words, phrases, and speaking habits Millennials tend to use that come back to bite them (read it here, ICYMI). This is Part 2.

1. Not really understanding entrepreneurship.

"Too many Millennials don't understand the difference between being an entrepreneur and doing something entrepreneurial. ... [W]e see so many stats about how many Millennials want to work for themselves someday because they've grown up in a time where the tech world has made them believe everyone can do everything. That's just not true. So what should they quit doing? They should quit thinking that working for themselves is the only way -- or even the best way -- to experience what it means to be entrepreneurial, make a big impact, and enact important change."

--Mike Maughan, head of insights, Qualtrics 

2. Acting overly entitled.

This one is almost a cliche at this point, but we still hear about it.

"The problem is, there's a correlation between self-motivation and self-entitlement, and a very thin line between confidence and arrogance. ... Millennials push themselves very hard, [and] their need for purpose causes a great deal of them to be intrinsically motivated. We just need to realize that sense self of purpose that we have CREATED for ourselves is not more important than anyone else's."

--Reza Jafery, Casual Solutions LLC

3. Being overly certain.

"We Millennials can be very confident, which can be electric and motivating to those around us--but only when it's actually authentic. Bottom line: If you don't know the answer to a question, don't pretend to be an expert. It's OK to be uncertain, and it's better to be honest about it rather than exude false certainty." 

4. Lack of focus.

"I'm a Millennial and I run a company where most of my staff consists of Millennials. The bad habit I'd like to mention is lack of focus due to constant distraction. Generation Y grew up in front of a TV, bombarded with new stimulus every 15 seconds. As a result, it's an uphill battle for many to regain the ability to retain focus for a long period of time. The web and mobile devices don't exactly help alleviate this habit either."

--Orun Bhuiyan, co-founder, SEOcial

5. Only being out for themselves.

"Leading today is all about creating true collaboration and teamwork. This is not a strength of Millennials. ... I see it often--great technical expertise but no idea how to relate to people. Maybe it is/was all those hours on their smart phones."

--Lawrence Polsky, co-founder, Teams of Distinction

6. Refusing to pick up the telephone.

"So much of business is still done by phone. ... You can't text a CEO to ask him to consider buying your product which you wrote as a string of emojis. Even if he thought it was a brilliant tactic, he'd likely pick up the phone to call you about it. Make sure you answer it and sound professional." 

--Meagan Nordmann, RiskSense

7. Inability to take or give criticism.

"They are often afraid to hurt someone's feelings instead of spark progress. ... On the flipside, Millennials also need to better understand how to take criticism. If I were to tell the average Millennial that he or she just created something that was a good try, but no--they would likely be upset. ... Millennials are a sensitive generation, the most sensitive in history, and [they] need to work to be less petty when it comes to reacting to what is said to them." 

--Adam Lawrence, StrollingWild

8. Talking more than listening.

"As a Millennial, our primary goal should be to ... learn as much as we can from other people. ... Not only that, if you want to build rapport with anyone, you need to show you're interested in what they have to say, and listening is an essential factor in developing rapport."

--Sean Kim, CEO, Rype

9. Acting too cool to care.

"I've come across quite a few younger people with the notion that 'not caring' is somehow super cool. I think it's impossible to be successful with this outlook. In my companies, really caring and giving it my all is a huge part of what allowed them to grow and succeed."

--Louisa Levit, co-founder, Unexpected Ways and Reliable PSD

10. Freaking out when making mistakes.   

"I'm a Millennial, and my generation got gold stars for pretty much everything. Now we're in the working world where if you make a mistake and get called out for it, [it seems as if it's] almost a better idea to jump off a cliff than come into work tomorrow. Mistakes happen to everyone. ... They do not mean your career is over."

--Heather Taylor, freelance writer

11. Too much multitasking.

As a Millennial ... we think we are very efficient at multitasking, but being in business has taught me that it is not always right to multitask or to hop on new projects like a bunny."

--Salman Aslam, CEO, Omnicore 

12. Expecting too many perks.

"Millennial candidates should forget what they see in the movies and read on social media, and focus on the career opportunity instead of the perks. If you don't work for a Silicon Valley tech giant, you probably won't have daily catered meals, a full-time barista, and free dry cleaning delivered to the office. Expecting (and asking for) those ... high-end perks can make a candidate seem out of touch and a potential prima donna."

--Lauren Bigelow, executive director, Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition

13. Not properly owning their Millennial-ness.

"Millennials should use their unique voices. Most of the consumer world is Millennial, and sharing the consumer's voice is valuable. However, you need to be articulate and crisp. Also, they should use the word 'awesome' in moderation. It's become the go-to Millennial phrase, but it's overused. Be youthful, but have a range of words that express excitement or pleasure."

--April Masini, AskApril.com

14. Not being willing to take time to learn.

"I have been hiring positions [and] the requirements [include] a real estate license and a three-month training period. ... No Millennial we've encountered wants to take their time to train through a process, [so] our most recent hire has been someone in the Baby Boomer generation."

--Steven Clarke, Steven Clarke Real Estate

15. Not being able to disconnect.

"Millennials make the best salespeople. ... They often don't see a hard line between their work and personal lives, which makes using social sites like Instagram and Twitter very effective for making business connections ... but this has also come at the cost of ever-important face-to-face meetings and networking. Millennials need to kick the habit of being tethered to their devices 24/7/365. There is something to be said for Millennials who know when to put down the smartphone and have an in-person conversation." 

--Adam Honig, co-founder and CEO, Spiro Technologies

16. Not reading things carefully.

"It seems like 'TL;DR' ... has extended to things that only require scrolling slightly on a phone. ... We've had many issues with Millennials applying for jobs without reading [the job descriptions]. We've had them requesting more information on our apartment listings, even though the information they were requesting was right before their eyes." 

--Jeremy Schmidt, director of marketing, RentCollegePads.com 

17. Not being present in conversations. 

"A common criticism of Millennials is that they are less likely to engage in face to face conversations in order to collaborate or problem solve, instead choosing social media, phone, or email. The consequence of this can be poorly developed social and communication skills, and a perception of rudeness and/or inconsiderate behavior."

Published on: Oct 7, 2015