I'm sick of hearing how bad millennials are.
I started my company in 1998. We had one company email, a dial up modem, and the first internet bubble was still alive. Internet surfing wasn't a thing yet, and the Blackberry wasn't a common tool. Bill Clinton was President, and the first wave of "millennials" were 12.
I love millennials. I employ more than 100 of them. I work alongside them, and they are the hardest working group I know.
We don't hire all millennials because all millennials aren't great. Just like how every thirty-something isn't great, or how every forty-something isn't great. You get the picture. Just like any other generation, there are good and bad.
We hire millennials who have a similar mentality, attitude, work ethic to ours, and we train them. We tell them when they act like jerks, and we applaud them when they act like a mensch (Yiddish for a person of integrity and honor).
We create a community where millennials (and all staff) are valued when they contribute at high levels, and where they are taught lessons when they let down their teammates. And guess what, they stay. They work harder. They get promoted, and they lead teams. Then they get older and get married. And they value what they learn. They value what they earn.
Instead of having house and car phones growing up, millennials watched TV on their cell phones. Does it mean they're entitled? No. It's just what they grew up with. If the "greatest generation" had the iPhone and the internet, we probably would have lost at Normandy. It is that simple.
Because millennials have had instant access to information, they want to be a part of the conversation. Every generation is different than the ones previous, but it's about time Baby Boomers and GenXers stop criticizing millennials, and learn to start working with them.
If other generations spent as much time learning from millennials as they do criticizing them, companies with a multigenerational workforce would be in much better shape.
After all, it's the parents of millennials who created the problem. They are the ones who gave out trophies for participation. Stop complaining about the recipients. You gave them the trophies! It's the parents who pushed millennials to take every AP class in high school rather than participate in other activities. It's the parents of the millennials who made the kids pick one sport to be "great" at, rather than be part of multiple teams. Look in the mirror; you created it.
As a company, we make hiring mistakes every day. I have hired "older" workers who are lazy and don't care about their teammates. I have also hired "older" workers who thrive working with millennials. It's a melting pot.
It isn't the millennials who are standing on the youth soccer fields not paying attention to their kids' games because they are on their phones. It isn't the millennials who are having a midlife crisis, and go on Facebook to post quotes from Gandhi about being happy because they are miserable. It's the twenty-something's at Woodstock (and you know what happened at Woodstock), who are now adults criticizing a generation that is changing the world.
It needs to stop.