News Poll: Industry has mixed feelings about millennial employees

Companies show range in percentage of employees born after 1980, before 2000
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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

YARMOUTH, Maine—Several industry events—including ISC West, ESX and Honeywell’s CONNECT—have had presentations dedicated to the topic of millennial employees and how to train them. Security Systems News received both positive and critical responses when it asked for opinions on Generation Y—those born between 1980 and 2000.

“Millennials are a must in the work place for a growing company,” Jason Brinton, owner of Brinton Electric Security Services, wrote in. “They are born in a technical age. I feel that to grow in today's society, we have to have their abilities, skills, and ideas to keep up with new trends. But, I also feel that the baby boomers’ work ethics and the millennials’ work ethics are very different and that will create challenges in today's work place.”

Several respondents said that millennial employees “just want a paycheck.” One person wrote in, “They might be great with the new media & digital technologies but, they have no work ethics or desire to actually ‘work’ for a living. They just want a paycheck!”

One reader said, “They are less about the job and more about their time off, benefits and pay.” Another simply stated, “They don't care about employers.”

Thirty-six percent of respondents reported that more than 30 percent of their employees are millennials. Thirty-two percent said that between 10 and 30 percent of their staff are millennials and another 32 percent said their company has a few to no Gen Y employees.

One respondent has a high number of millennials on staff, but cited a geographic factor for their work ethic. “Half of our proprietary staff are millennials, the overwhelming majority of our contract staff are. Most of them have been raised in more rural environments so there's not a significant difference between attitudes, performance [or] expectations [from] our older employees.”

Most respondents—64 percent—said that they haven’t hired or lost many millennial employees in the past year. Twenty-nine percent said they’ve hired quite a few. Seven percent said their company has fewer millennials now than they did last year.

One respondent sees no benefit in millennial employees, saying, “They make me sick.”

When asked about what millennials value in the workplace, 64 percent said Generation Y looks for either time off, or a good work-life balance, most. Twenty-one percent said millennials like opportunity for advancement in the work place. Fourteen percent said they value a close-knit company culture.

Another respondent had a variety of things to say about Generation Y: “They want a job but they don't want to work. ‘Time off’ is more important than advancement at the work place. [They] will avoid working at the drop of a hat as well as taking extra days off after a long weekend. They are metaphysically attached to their cell phones. It's no wonder the divorce rate is so high. Because they lived with mommy and daddy till they were 30 they don't have the mentality to persevere through any difficulty or solve problems.”

Above percentages may not add up to 100 as a result of rounding.