Meet the New Millennials


When it comes to talking about work and the latest generation of employees, 57-year-old employer Elliott Masie does not mince his words. He said today's young workers act as if they are "entitled" and are "somewhat spoiled."

Masie, a member of the baby boomer generation, heads his own company. Every day he faces the challenge of managing much younger workers; members of the millennial generation -- those born after 1981.

"We recently had to tell a young woman employee that this was not an underwear optional workplace," he told "This generation needs to be deeply coached about wardrobe, and a lot of them are used to getting up at 10 or 11 a.m. Forget about them showing up to work at 8 or 9 a.m."

Masie knows more than most about the new generation of workers. He manages an international think tank that specializes in learning, technology and workplace productivity. The Masie Center in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., employs what the company calls "extremely tech-savvy" young people.

Masie has studied as well as employed so called "millennials."

"They grew up with an 'everyone gets a trophy' sense of entitlement," he said. "They are members of a generation that thinks it should get a trophy just for waking up in the morning."

Great Expectations

Such entitlement can reveal itself in strange ways.

"I had a human resources manager call me about a worker who received her performance review only to have her mother call up and complain that 'she's better than that,'" he recalled. "The HR manager was shocked and asked the mother why she was calling about her daughter. The mother responded, 'Because I've done so throughout my daughter's life.'"

"They are what their parents wanted to create," said Masie.

From Traditionalists to Millennials

Manpower, one of the nation's largest employment services companies with headquarters in Milwaukee, has studied the work habits and career goals of American workers. A company review of generational diversity points out that for the first time in history, four generations are working together. It identifies them as follows:

The traditionalists -- workers born before 1946 who respect authority, place duty before pleasure, delay gratification and avoid challenging the system.

The baby boomers -- workers born between 1946 and 1964 who live to work, are willing to go into debt betting on the future, and will in many cases work after traditional retirement.

The Generation Xers -- workers born between 1965 and 1980 who work to live, not live to work, want versatility and are skeptical and cynical.

The millennials -- workers born between 1981 and 1994 who question everything, are family oriented, demand clear and consistent expectations, live in the moment and earn money for immediate consumption.

Melanie Holmes, Manpower's vice president of corporate affairs, told ABC News that it's "dangerous to generalize about a generation of workers. There is no right or wrong generation, no bad or good generation." If workers are really, really good then age makes no difference. If they are not good, then others may attribute that to their younger age."

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