Are millennials on their own at work?

There’s been an awful lot written about the so called millennial generation, and their impact on the workplace.  Whilst the general perception of them is of an entitled group who expect the world to fall at their feet, a recent study suggests that they may actually have a point.

The study suggests that young people often feel that they’re left to their own devices in the workplace, and given little support when it comes to acquiring new knowledge or skills.

“It is really serious when young people feel that they must assume responsibility for their own work ability. The employer, of course, has a large responsibility for creating good conditions in working life and one should not expect young people to assume such a large responsibility,” the authors say.

Entering the workforce

The author has previously examined the way young adults behave in the workforce, and specifically how certain things influence their capabilities at work.  For this latest study, she quizzed a number of young employees about both their own abilities and what contributed to that ability growing.

“They perceived that it is up to them. I’m the one who has to experience working life as being meaningful and I’m the one who has to possess knowledge and then be able to solve everything myself. I believe it is unfortunate that they perceive things in that way,” she says.

Interestingly, whilst respondents did highlight the value of a good boss in supporting performance at work, they didn’t believe their boss was in any way responsible for creating the conditions for good work ability.  Things such as mentoring and training were not something they felt the boss had much interest in, and if they wanted them, it was their responsibility to secure them.

“There are many players who can be of importance in order for people to be able to both enter, and deal with, working life. One needs to know when one can speak out and when one should speak out, for example when one has too much to do. Recovery is important, not least of all for young people in working life. Moreover, young adults assess a balance between work and leisure, which benefits recovery and work ability,” the author concludes.


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