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Do employees ask for too much?

My first job was working in the facilities planning department at a university, I was a glorified assistant/secretary and it was definitely not what I went to school for. I remember when I was hired, how grateful I was to have benefits, a paycheck and colleagues I really liked. I never once thought to myself:

  • How much time do I get off?
  • What will they provide me in terms of professional development?
  • How many days a week can I work from home?
  • What will we do for team building?
  • Bonuses?
  • What perks will they provide to keep me happy? Fulfilled?

I was listening to talk radio this past week and they were chatting with a young professional who was educating the host and listeners on what employees need to do, pay and offer to keep the millennial workforce happy.

A few points I remember is they want to set their own pay and that is unfair to be paid based on experience because they need to afford to live and pay off their school debt. At one point, I may have yelled at the radio – Are you fucking kidding me?

A job is a job. A job is not responsible for your happiness, debt or overall fulfillment in your personal life. Finding your course in life, is up to you not someone else. You absolutely do not get to set your own pay, unless you are running your own fucking business…and we know you don’t have the discipline or drive to do so. And whether you like it or not, you are hired on experience. There is no employer in their right mind that is going to pay a recent grad 6-figures based on the fact that they want it.

Where did we as a society get so off course that this mentality is tolerated and even accommodated? I find myself falling into the same trap – offering 1/2 day Fridays, Whitecap suite outings, bonuses, 4-day staff beach retreats, lunches, happy hours, gifts, overnight Christmas party with significant others, paid professional development, etc.

Now don’t get me wrong, I have employees that are truly grateful for all that 834 offers, however it turns into a snowball effect. The fact is, I can’t be responsible for your happiness. I have a business to run and worrying constantly about your happiness will not make the business profitable.

What are your experiences? Do you agree? Disagree?

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10 Responses

      1. I think it’s important to ask questions and for benefits. It’s important to to know the “why I should work for this person” compared to the next.

  1. It sounds like you have hired a staff of ungrateful people who look to play more than they work. You should look to change your hiring strategy.

    1. Not at all. Ithas definitely been a process that involves education, mentorship and a good culture. There will always be bumps in the road but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

  2. I have to ask this as a small business owner.

    Do your employees and clients have access to your blog?

    If so how do your negative views on Millennials affect company morale and relationships with clients?

    1. The majority of my employees are millennials. I speak from experience as it relates to my business, other business owners and stories I hear from colleagues.

      As the blog is on the Internet, anyone can navigate to it and read it at their leisure and I welcome a dialogue around the topics I write on.

  3. Thanks for the insightful post, Kim. I manage a mid-sized non-profit and have a number of millennials working for me. I’m wondering what would happen if you didn’t offer some of the perks you listed in this post. Do you believe that, by offering these perks, you are properly retaining your staff? I don’t offer half as many perks, but still seem able to retain my employees. I think it’s one part good hiring and one part trust that keeps them around. I’m not saying you don’t make good hires and that you don’t trust your employees’ capabilities. Rather, I’m wondering if you think gifts, half-day Fridays, and the like are necessary to retain Millennial employees.

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Hi, I'm Kim!
Writer of musings.

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