Many workers assume that they are entitled to many more rights then they naturally are. This sense of entitlement creates problems for employers who want to stay focused on their operations and not on employee demands. No matter how much they try and hire the right employees with the right attitude they seem to continually come up short. These personality problems have a huge affect on the long-term viability of the organization. However, there are some solutions for companies that desire to motivate the “Entitled Generation”.
The “Entitlement Generation” is described as those people born between 1979 and 1994 who are described as impatient, self-serving, disloyal, and unable to delay gratification (Ambel, 2005). Even though Brian Ambel highlights an important concept dates should most likely be expanded to include almost every generation after the Baby Boomer Generation.
According to a study conducted by Wayne Hochwarter from Florida States University’s College of Business nearly 55% of workers feel that they are more entitled than other workers who have put in more time. He conducted interviews of 600 employees across a wide range of industries and found them to be relatively consistent.
Hochwarter states, “It is clear that perceived entitlement is a greater threat to younger employees than older ones” and, “Typically, older employees are more secure and have gotten what they want out of their jobs. Since many younger employees have not, they are afraid that others are going to use manipulation to get what they want, rather than working for it.”
These younger workers are more ambitious than the older generation but feel as though they are being slighted by older employees. They don’t trust the old way of doing business and want transparency in their careers. Therefore, when they don’t see advantages of working on particular projects or any opportunity for going up in pay or stature they will become skeptical.
“These individuals will not put up with the ambiguity that saturates most work settings. If they don’t know where they can get, how to get there, and what it will get them, they are not going to ‘buy in’ to the objectives of the firm.” Horchwarter explains.
How do companies motivate younger workers? Companies can have more transparency in their jobs, treat everyone fairly, set younger employees up with mentors to guide them, and develop career plans for the employees. If the employer takes interest in the younger generation they will see that they will respond accordingly and be willing to put in the time to achieve success. A sense of entitlement among workers is not a bad thing if businesses can use this skepticism to motivate and encourage higher performance levels.