Millennials are generally defined as the generation born between 1980 and 2000, and they’re flooding into the global workforce. As they do, multinationals may need to adjust some of their practices to keep these younger workers in their jobs.
Millennials have a reputation for being fickle employees, and some statistics support that. A 2017 Deloitte survey, for example, questioned 8,000 college-educated millennials in 30 countries and found that 38% expect to leave their current employer within two years.
Another international survey—this one from the staffing company MRINetwork—found that many companies are doing little to attract and retain millennials, despite their need to replace a wave of retiring baby boomers (usually defined as those born between 1946 and 1964). Some of these employers may have thrown up their hands after falling prey to the worldwide stereotyping surrounding millennials.
Nicknames for millennials, also known as Gen Y, provide clues as to how they’re perceived in various cultures. In China, some believe the country’s one-child policy has created a generation of pampered “little emperors,” also known as ken lao zum, or “the generation that eats the old,” living parasitically off their parents’ generosity.
Interestingly, regions with demographics very different from China’s have similar opinions of millennials. In Sweden, they are known as the “curling generation,” named for the sport’s ritual of having team members sweep a path in advance for other players, as parents presumably do for their millennial offspring. The United States has a similar stereotype, but shifts the blame to “helicopter parents.”
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Samantha Pratchett joined Radius in 2017 as Senior Manager of Compensation and Benefits. She has expertise in a wide range of international HR areas, including deep experience managing pension plans. Prior to joining Radius, she was the Senior Pensions and Benefits Manager for the EMEA region at Honeywell International, and has also held benefits positions at the Gillette Group UK and Safeway Stores (now Morrisons). She is based in Radius’ Bristol, U.K., office.