Millennial Work Ethic

There’s no doubt, Millennials want to work less and expect more than hard-working Boomers. It leaves quite a division in the workplace as business owners with marginal budgets try to manage labor costs with productivity. How is the Millennial work ethic affecting small business?

Millennials have had it pretty good. They grew up with cell phones and tablets in their hands along with technological automation forcing them to acclimatize to the idea that less than desirable jobs can be performed with some degree of efficacy by robots, requiring fewer humans to be needed in businesses which can afford the technology.

We are seeing many businesses close left and right due to the huge gap between full automation (or inexpensive imports) and businesses that could maintain a profit, or at least run in the black, using human labor. Those days are gone. The millennials are pleased about this.

Working hard for a dollar is unglamorous, to say the least, but they still want the money to get the things they want, and the things they want aren’t cheap. So, they have to get a job.

While there are still some small businesses surviving and hiring individuals to work, there are many opportunities for Millennials to find a job, though the job may not be a premium position, it will allow them to pay some bills and get-by meagerly if they are frugal. But how long can you live like that?

I do a good deal of work with entrepreneurs who are always looking for good talent. They hire continuously from the available labor market at above-expected pay rates and are more often than not disappointed with the talent they have to choose from.

Their business models are based on being able to earn a return on their labor expenses to maintain their bottom line, so the need for a certain amount of productivity is imperative if they are to survive over time.

They report the Millennial labor pool is less concerned about their contribution and more concerned about doing as little as possible for the highest wage. Their opinion is that there is less work ethic and sense of being a part of the team. If something goes amiss in their department, they jump right to, “Oh well, it’s not my job,” then reach for their cell phone to check their messages while their coworker is left to frustratingly fend for themselves.

Back in the day, any of us would have pitched in to help someone else in our department, instead of using it as an opportunity to check our social media accounts (which, unfortunately – or fortunately – didn’t exist years ago).

These employers have a high rate of turnover, not for the reason you might think. If you’re like me, you think they’d be firing these low-productivity employees. No, they keep them on with the hopes of trying to eek out enough to cover the expenses. But what really happens is, when the employees get the idea that management might not be pleased with their performance, they walk off, or don’t show up the next day for their scheduled shift. Gone. No call, no show. Good luck.

There is no respect for the employer, even enough to give them notice. These complaints are common among employers all over the United States, and usually includes the mention of, “entitlement,” somewhere within the conversation.

Then there’s this: The people who own the factories which were inherited from their ancestors, have no one to take over the business because those millennials who are heirs to the industrial revolution’s hand-down have no interest in working in the manner required to take it over and run it. They don’t want it, even if it were given to it.

It’s no wonder these businesses are closing. If it’s not enough to have to compete with foreign labor markets and huge competitors who can slay your business in one fell swoop.

The answer?

Find new ways to do business, or other businesses to be in, where your reliance on Millennial labor is decreased enough to manage your business successfully, or create a businesses model that is so incredibly profitable (high margin business) affording you to pay inflated labor costs to unproductive employees.


Lead With Love

Gone are the days of heavy-handed leadership in the civilized society. Civilians are less likely to respond well to militaristic management styles. As we continue to evolve beyond our basic humanity, there is an awareness emerging, a sense that there is something more to life than just being a simple worker bee.

This urge to sense there is more to discover is the root of an enormous awakening in humanity, though the professional communities are more likely to convince you the urge can be (and should be) focused on your individual quest for meaning and purpose through your career choices or working environment.

Excellent upgrades are permeating the workforce of America – and the world – as we look at better ways to treat workers, because the militaristic methodologies or slavery-style leadership is being viewed as cruel or inhumane as workers feel they bring more value to the planet than being reduced to simply being a cog in the wheel.

As humanity continues to evolve society must discover ways to accommodate the evolution of the human mind, body and spirit as we head into the future.

The emergence of a kinder, gentler counter leader approach to leadership is gaining ground among professional management, rather than leading with an iron-fist, we are finding that the most productive leaders

Lead With Love


While this may be a difficult concept to embrace when you are first introduced to it, we all can agree with the idiom, “You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” It becomes necessary for leadership to treat their workforce with respect imbuing them with a sense of belonging, dignity and worth to achieve maximum effectiveness and higher retention.

It follows, if leadership were to turn up the volume on respect to its highest level you would be looking at “love” face to face. Hugely uncomfortable for some, but a brilliantly enlightened approach to team-building and the creation of uplifting support staffs.

Promoting camaraderie and a joyous work environment is trending in business cultures and the effects are paying off for the businesses and corporations utilizing these tactics… but as the workforce continues their evolution, there is an increasing sense of finding more meaning in what they do.

The most basic need of humanity is to love and be loved. Though we try to beat the sense of love or being worthy of love out of our societal structure (and certainly society has initiated many campaigns to persuade us to believe that love is folly and fleeting) innately we know that we were created to love and be loved, even if we’re unlikely to agree with the concept in the moment.

Work for Free

I work with leaders who lead with love. They are bold about it and their cultures radiate it within their organizations and to the communities they serve. Even though these workers are being well compensated, they are not motivated by the money at all. In fact, they have said – and I believe them – that they would work for free because they love their work.

To them, love is all there really is.

Now, that got the attention of leadership. Think about it, to have a team that was so in love with you, your business or organization (and each other) that they would work for free to support your vision.

Of course, leading with love and creating a culture of loving lovers is a daunting task if you are not truly a lover yourself. For those I know who lead with love, they are supported by the most amazing love cultures, and it just comes naturally to them.

Their business culture is an extension of who they are. As they are evolving into more loving individuals the love bug infects their entire organization like a sacred virus.

I am confident that as more people awake to the enlightened sacred virus, they will expect and eventually seek love in their daily lives even more than monetary reward.

How can you better lead with love?