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An extraordinarily complicated topic. I do agree with the millennials, however, that each individual employee should be assessed and treated (and rewarded or punished) individually.

I also agree with you, Ruth, that standards need to be set and enforced from day 1 of a person's employment.

A lot about business culture needs to change. An equally sizable lot of business culture needs to be retained and strengthened.

08/23/13 @ 13:13
Comment from: Mike M

"At work or at home, if even the oldest and wisest among us have trouble slowing down, showing compassion for others, and appreciating every moment for all that it is worth, how are we to help the Millennials do the same?"

We lead by example. If our example falls short, as is the case with so many family environments these days, then we must look within ourselves to improve that which is lacking and hope our continued strife for improvement will have the trickle down effect. It does no good to shut the barn door after the horses get out but we can always learn from our mistakes and adjust our behavior towards a more favorable outcome in life.
Most of life is shaped by learned behavior and lets hope we never quit learning.

08/23/13 @ 14:55
Comment from: Joy Connell

"Examine and test and evaluate your own selves to see whether you are holding to your faith and showing the proper fruit of it" 2nd Corinthians 13:5
My own convictions stem from the Bible as I strive to develop values of decent living. We all put our trust in something in order to establish personal goals. Money being the common objective and that translates to work for most of us.
THE ARTICLE ON THE WHOLE IS A SAD COMMENTARY! How I wish we ALL could be occupied doing what we love. That being the case would permit pride in what we do and personal satisfaction.
Today's cost of living and economy has created so much pressure on the society. We are working longer hours/years for less pay. It's an ugly cycle!
We don't need to be governed by psychiatric analysis; we need to find our own self-worth.
We need to stop and ask how am I doing in regard to what is important to me, what can I do differently so that I am living life better?"
Trust in good judgment, being responsible for ourselves spills over to others and makes for a healthy work environment.
I'm hoping this is relevant as somtimes I get off the subject....

08/24/13 @ 09:23
Comment from:

Thank you for all your comments. They are excellent.

Joe: Yes, there have been many times when I've wondered why employers don't take the time to appreciate each-and-every employee. Meanwhile, our business culture IS changing, and I can only hope it does so for the better.

Mike: There are plenty of good examples out there, parents, teachers, and kids. I'd prefer to see those recognized instead. I'd prefer to see the behavior shaped by positive traits, because you are so right, improvement has a trickle down effect.

Joy: You're not far off; it's all relative. Too bad, though, so few employers are in a position to create a healthy work environment that matches the values you speak of. Such leadership seems to start from the bottom as a general rule today, because those pressures are eating up all the attention at the top, too.

And of course, I dislike the categorization that all Millennials have a bad attitude. I know that's not true. However, I have been dumbfounded on numerous occasions over the past few years wherein a young person expects something from me without having done anything to earn my favor. Then, they are dumbfounded when I don't comply. As Mike said, we should never quit learning, but I have to admit, I'm not sure how kids like that are ever going to figure out that the world in which they live did not just appear. Many people gave everything they had to create the pleasures we enjoy today. The same is true at work. It wasn't until I began working for myself that I better understood the challenges of my former employers. However, I promise to try to change (and learn) with the times as long as the vision is a positive one.

08/26/13 @ 08:26

Good discussion. I'm really hesitant to typecast an entire generation, but the context in which a generation grows up probably determines the general Zeitgeist. I think if these millennials were growing up during war or other hard times they probably wouldn't be quite as self-centered. As it is, the consumer society on steroids that us older generations helped create are probably not good for a more humble approach to life. Then again, look at the whole sharing economy and collaborative consumption movements -- while I have my issues with the motives behind those, it shows that there is at least a yearning for a more shared experience among the younger generation.

San Francisco where I live is a total hotbed for the me me me me attitude, and sometimes just walking down the street getting almost knocked out by a twenty-something lost in his/her gadget makes me want to despair. Then again, perhaps it's just a youthful phase of finding yourself and maybe we all went through that phase but didn't notice it at the time. But one thing I would never do, neither as an employer or a parent, is to cater to the selfish whims of a youngster. I think that's just feeding the problem, it's never good to spoil already spoiled people, you're not doing them a favor, because there will be scarcity again in this world and probably sooner than later, so it's really in their best interest to learn how to be humble and share, even if they don't like it.

08/26/13 @ 14:44
Comment from:

Thank you, Sven, for summarizing this nicely with real-world examples and authentic compassion.

08/26/13 @ 15:03