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3 Tips for Managing Millennial Expectations

By Lena J. Weiner  
   December 01, 2014

Some Millennials have overly high expectations early in their careers: Ideal schedules, fawning from colleagues, frequent promotions. Keeping their expectations in check is essential for all concerned.

A nurse manager caught the potentially fatal error in just the nick of time. A young nurse had almost administered the wrong medication to a patient via IV. The manager pulled the young worker aside and emphatically told her that this is how patients die unnecessarily.

But the young nurse interrupted her.

"Actually, you are doing this conversation wrong," she corrected her boss. "You are supposed to give me some positive feedback before you criticize my work."

This is just one of many stories from exasperated managers and HR departments that Bruce Tulgan, founder and chairman of human resources consultancy RainmakerThinking and author of Not Everyone Gets a Trophy: How to Manage Generation Y has heard regarding what to some is baffling behavior from the youngest generation of workers.

By 2020, post-Baby Boom [born 1946 – 1964] workers will make up 80% of the workforce. Already managers have complaints about overly confident young employees with poor social skills and a hard time taking criticism who expect praise and rewards in abundance.

Some of these issues have their roots in the cultural attitudes of the 1980s and 90s marked by helicopter parenting, everyone-plays/everyone wins sports teams, summer camps designed to bring out hidden talents, and school schedules constructed to maximize the chances of snagging a coveted spot at a dream college.

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Lena J. Weiner is an associate editor at HealthLeaders Media.

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