Response to Discussion Question

Response to Discussion Question

  1. How do organizations motivate this new generation?

The millennial generation includes those individuals born around the years of 1981-1996 and according to an article written by Gurchiek (2016), made up 50 percent of the workforce in 2020. Their motivations differ in comparison to the preceding generations X and Baby Boomers, requiring organizations to adapt. Millennials have had a significant amount of access to technology resulting in digital-savvy individuals who thrive on technology. They also find satisfaction in creating online content through blogging and social networking (Dannar, 2013). Organizational needs are not a priority to Millennials, they are more focused on their individual needs (Calk and Patrick, 2017). Millennials prefer a diverse work environment, autonomy, and positive reinforcement (Calk and Patrick, 2017). Millennials also value family; they place more value in their family time than time spent working.

For organizations, it can be a challenge motivating Millennials. In my previous organization, as we brought in more Millennials, we had to change our cell phone policy due to them not being satisfied with traditional methods of calling clients or sending snail mail. Their preferred methods were social media and email. In my current position, we are now experiencing this same issue. New teachers want immediate access with families to send pictures of the children throughout the day as well as inform parents of what’s happening in their classrooms for the week. We are currently evaluating best methods for cell phone usage in classrooms. Organizations need to have a culture of team collaboration and offer recognition for achievements. Millennials need to feel empowered to make decisions within an organization; therefore, organizations must communicate their expectations and allow employees independence to accomplish their objectives. Those organizations that provide flexible work schedules to allow for a balanced work-life will have a better chance of retaining Millennial employees.

  1. Critics of the new Millennials have argued that this is an “entitled” generation. Do you agree or disagree? Why?

Millennials have a different perspective than previous generations, however, I don’t believe it’s an “entitled” generation. They were exposed to a life of technology, overwhelming amounts of information, and convenience. Millennials embrace technology and use it to their advantage to be more efficient and effective. Many have watched their parents go to traditional 9-5 jobs, sacrificing their time and effort, with little appreciation from organizations. Millennials, however, have decided to take a more empowered posture as they venture into the workplace. They are a generation that knows what they want and choose not to settle. It is my opinion that these behaviors and attitudes are perceived as “entitled”.

  1. What challenges do you see for HR professionals as they seek to hire and retain this generation’s top talent?

It is my belief that HR professionals will find it difficult to adjust from the traditional HR role to a strategic HR role. The traditional HR role is more administrative: benefits, payroll, terminations, and training. The strategic HR role takes a more proactive approach and aligns HR objectives with the organization’s business strategy. I saw this firsthand with my previous employer’s HR manager. She only functioned using traditional HR methods and could not grasp the changes that were happening around her. She lost a significant number of talented employees because she was unable to adapt. HR professionals will be challenged with understanding what Millennials desire in an employer to both hire and retain top talent. Understanding and embracing constant change will prove to be a challenge. HR professionals will need to be creative when developing team collaboration projects as well as flexible schedules. COVID has forced many organizations to be creative with how business goals are accomplished. Within my own organization, the office staff now alternates two days from home and three days in the office. For many businesses, it has proven successful, and it’s become the permanent work schedule.


Calk, R. & Patrick, A. (2017). Millennials through the looking glass: Workplace motivating factors. The Journal of Business Inquiry, 16(2). 131-139.

Dannar, P.R. (2013). Millennials: What they offer our organizations and how leaders can make sure they deliver. The Journal of Values-Based Leadership. 6(1), Article 3.

Gurchiek, K. (2016). What motivates your workers? It depends on their generation.…

Response 2

  1. How do organizations motivate this new generation?

Organizations are finding themselves in a unique position with all four generations now working side by side in the workforce. With each generation comes different work ethics, attitudes, beliefs, and expectations. HR professionals and organizations must learn how to adapt to the millennial generation due to the drastic social differences that exist between them and the generations before them. The daunting task then becomes how best to motivate this new generation in order to continue to achieve strategic objectives.

The starting point in motivating this generation begins with understanding. Organizations must try to understand this new generation so that they can adjust their processes and strategies in order to attract and retain talent (Calk & Patrick, 2017). The gaps between generations can best be understood by studying the era in which each generation is associated with. While there are not many studies of generational differences in work value over time, the research that has been conducted suggests that the largest change in values among generations is the increase in the value placed on leisure for millennial’s (Twenge et al., 2010). This could be explained due to the current work environment when compared to the work environment experienced by previous generations, who had a “live to work” mindset whereas millennial’s have a “work to live” mindset.

In 2012 The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation published a report on research done on the millennial generation, it summarized specific traits and values of the generation. What they found, much like other research previously conducted, is that millennial’s are confident, self-expressive, entrepreneurial, team players, opinionated, expect feedback from their supervisors, desire a flexible work environment, favor extrinsic rewards, and a work-life balance. Organizations need to not only understand the values but also the goals of millennial’s in order to tailor work environments, compensations packages and other benefits that will motivate them. Twenge et. al (2010) also found in their research that millennial’s placed social and intrinsic rewards at a lower value than previous generations.

The data that has been found provides a clear picture of what is important to millennial’s, it is up to organizations to adjust in order to entice and retain them. So in order to motivate this new generation organizations need to offer flexible work arrangements (which we have started to see that strategic objectives can still be met with a workforce that has flexible work arrangements due to COVID), transparency, communication, feedback, training beyond minimum requirements, and a balance between work and life. As a millennial myself, a balance between work and life is very important to me and others I know. We grew up with our parents leaving for work before we got up and returning from work either right before or after we had gone to sleep. Those days are a thing of the past and as a millennial the values of a potential organization must be similar to mine otherwise I will look elsewhere.

  1. Critics of the new millennials have argued that this is an “entitled” generation. Do you agree or disagree? Why?

I do not agree that the millennial generation is an “entitled” generation. They have been labeled lazy, entitled, and spoiled. There is no “entitled” generation, it comes down to the simple fact that each generation is different from the next due to life events. This is through no fault of any generation but rather the circumstances that each generation is exposed to as they grow up. The millennial generation is in a unique position as they are a generation that has grown up with technology at their fingertips, it is essential to their generation. The world and society the millennial generation have been exposed to are vastly different than that of Baby Boomers and Gen X, yet they are still stereotyped and mislabeled as a generation. Every generation has criticized the generation before them and that stems from not understanding the values of each generation. According to Smith & Nicholas (2015), the differences between generations tend to be over exaggerated and are created through a fear of change. While millennials do place different values higher and lower than previous generations, this is not something I would classify as “entitled”.

  1. What challenges do you see for HR professionals as they seek to hire and retain this generation’s top talent?

HR professionals have several challenges as they seek to hire and retain this generation’s top talent. HR professionals need to change the culture of the organization but also change recruiting processes in order to attract new talent within the millennial generation. Organizations must be willing to respond and implement changes in how they operate, otherwise they will see a difference in their bottom line. With a society that is constantly plugged in, millennials will seek to learn more about a potential organization via social media so HR professionals will be challenged in ensuring that the organization’s culture, values and mission are showcased. In terms of recruitment, HR professionals will be challenged to review and adjust their use of technology in order to automate processes and policies in the work environment in such a way that appeals to millennials. According to Roepe (2017), it’s not just about utilizing social media, it is projecting the personality of the organization so that millennials gain an understanding of the organization and its authenticity.

HR professionals must also present opportunities for professional development for millennials. Strategic Human Resource Management involves looking at employees and future employees as assets and developing them appropriately so that they contribution to the organization’s objectives. As the competitive advantage, employees need to be invested into more than ever before. Employers are no longer on the controlling end of the working relationship, millennials are outspoken and demanding in their concerns for growth and if organizations do not adapt they will lose talent (Kurter, 2019). HR professionals now have the challenge of ensuring that their recruitment and retention strategies reflect that of an organization who are invested in employee growth.


Calk, R., Patrick, A., (2017). Millennials through the looking glass: Workplace motivating

factors. The Journal of Business Inquiry, 16(2), 131-139.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. (2012, November 12). The millennial generation research review. (Links to an external site.)

Kurter, H. (2019). 4 Easy ways to millennial-proof your human resources strategy. Forbes. (Links to an external site.)

Roepe, L.R. (2017). Retool recruiting to attract millennials. Society for Human Resource

Management. (Links to an external site.)

Smith, T.J., Nichols, T. (2015). Understanding the millennial generation. Journal of Business

Diversity, 15(1), 39-47.

Twenge, J.M., Campbell, S.M., Hoffman, B.J., Lance, C.E. (2010). Generational differences in

work values: Leisure and extrinsic values increasing, social and intrinsic values

decreasing. Journal of Management, 36(5), 1117-1142.

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