Tracy's blog

I’m Tracy Au and I have graduated from the Professional Writing program from university. I am an aspiring screenwriter, so this blog is used to promote my writing and attract people who will hire me to write for your TV show or movie. I write a lot about writing, TV, movies, jokes, and my daily life and opinions. I have another blog promoting my TV project at

Monday, July 27, 2015

"Five key findings about millennial workers"

May 30 "Five key findings about millennial workers": I cut out this article by Dan Schawbel in the Globe and Mail on Dec. 13, 2013:

Millennials are the largest, most diverse, most educated and most connected generation of all time and that's why companies have to pay attention to them in a big way.

By 2025, they will become 75 per cent of the global work force and more are stepping into management positions every day. Most employers aren't prepared for the sheer number of millennials who are going to be entering their companies in the coming years because of the generational differences.

To better understand these disparities, I partnered with on our annual "Generations At Work" study. In the study, we compared millennials with Gen Xers and boomers to identify differences in how they view work and how they are dealing with the current economy. As work-force demographics change, companies have to be prepared to cater to people who were raised differently and have different levels of comfort with technology.

Here are some of our key findings, and how they can help employers better engage with millennials.

1. They are happy with their managers

More baby boomers (9.4 per cent) wish they could change their boss (out of all the possible changes to their work situation) than millennials (5.9 per cent) or Gen Xers (6.8 per cent). In Canada, fewer millennials would change their boss at 4.9 per cent. Based on previous research I've done, millennials have a positive view of their management. They see them as being wise and willing to mentor. Millennials are looking for mentoring support and seek their boss's advice on how to get ahead since they are just starting out in their careers. Companies need to provide these mentoring opportunities so they can better engage their millennials and retain them, instead of losing them to the competition.

2. They want to work for a small company

Millennial workers are more likely to work at small firms (fewer than 100 employees) than both Gen Xers or baby boomers (55.6 per cent compared with 48.1 per cent and 49.6 per cent, respectively). In Canada, slightly more millennials work for small firms (58.5 per cent). Millennials are seeking a startup culture where they can dress casually, have workplace flexibility and be innovative. Smaller companies provide an environment where they can get involved with various business activities too. Millennials are also turned off by the daunting interview process used by large companies. Employers should create a culture that supports millennials if they want to compete against millennial entrepreneurs and those who wish to work at smaller companies.

3. They have a delayed adulthood

In the study, we found that baby boomers are more likely to have always lived on their own after starting their career (95.6 per cent) than Gen X (88.5 per cent) or millennials (70.8 per cent). In Canada, slightly more millennials have lived on their own (71.9 per cent). Millennials across the world have felt the harsh realities of the economic collapse. Millions are still living with their parents and are either jobless or underemployed, working as bartenders or waiters. Employers need to be sensitive to this during their recruitment process and also understand that millennials are very family-oriented. Some have even brought their parents on job interviews.

4. They want to work from home

Despite millennials wanting workplace flexibility, they aren't receiving it as much as older generations. Gen X (6.5 per cent) is more likely to have the option to work from home than millennials (5.3 per cent) or baby boomers (4.8 per cent). In a previous study I did with, we found that millennials embrace the idea of freedom and flexibility in the workplace over older generations. Employers should give all generations the ability to work from wherever they want as long as they get their jobs done. Millennials will be more loyal and effective if you trust them with this privilege and if you don't, they will go to another company that offers it.

5. They want meaningful work

In the study, we found that millennials report the lowest levels of job meaning. In Canada, only 40 per cent of millennials report a high level of job meaning. Millennials often choose meaningful work over higher salaries when selecting a company to work for. Their workplace expectations are higher and not met by what corporations are currently offering either. Employers need to find a way to allow millennials to work on projects that align with their strengths and have a true business impact. They should also set expectations that not every project will be what they are looking for and that they have to pay their dues over time in order to earn opportunities.

Jul. 21 "It’s Time To Fill The Education Gap": I cut out this article by Tim Ryan in 24 News on May 6, 2013:

According to The Economist, almost 300m 15- to 24-year-olds are not working - almost a quarter of the world’s youth. The late Margaret Thatcher famously quipped “Young people ought not to be idle. It is very bad for them.” She was right.

Societies that leave their young workers idle in their formative years is problematic: young workers are more likely to struggle later in their careers, with lower wages and less job security as a result. It’s also a stark omen for the future of any economy, given an aging population will eventually be reliant on the goods and services that generation produces.
It’s tempting to only look at this from the perspective of less developed countries. However, it’s a big problem here in North America as well as other so-called developed countries. According to the OECD, there are 26m young people in ‘rich countries’ they count as “NEETS”: not in employment, education, or training.

What’s the issue?

While it’s a complex topic, there are a number of key factors at play. The most obvious has been an economic slowdown in the West, which has placed downward pressure on the demand for labour. Yet, even during the downturn companies still found it difficult to fill key roles with young workers. This suggests economic growth isn’t the only factor at play.

If demand for labour is not the most important factor, our attention should turn to understanding why companies can’t find workers with the right skills in the first place.

The Education Gap

As The Economist points out, “what matters is not just number of years of education people get, but its content”. While countries such as Canada and England tend to favour practical education rather than vocational, this appears somewhat misguided. For instance, the Germans have a long tradition of high-quality vocational education and apprenticeships, which has helped it reduce youth unemployment despite only modest economic growth (more than twice as many young Britons are unemployed relative to their German counterparts).

In order to address youth employment, we need to rethink how we’re educating and training our youth. A closer network needs to be developed between industry and educators to ensure we’re graduating future workers, not unemployed graduates.

There also needs to be more effort early on to help youth get experience at public and private institutions through apprenticeships. Through these programs they’ll gain a better understanding of the options available to them and the kinds of projects they enjoy (or don’t).

This question is far harder to answer after four years studying for an expensive liberals arts education. 

Jul. 25: I remember I read something a long time about how we shouldn't have started naming the generations so late in the alphabet.  We did start at "X."  I don't know who said that, but he was right.

I'm sure some of you guys are laughing at this part.


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