Over the past year, the term “Millennial” has come up quite often in my workplace. A “Millennial” is considered someone born between the year 1982 and the early 2000’s. What bothers me about being labeled a Millennial is not the name itself, but it’s the negative reputation that has come along with it.
Some presumptions include:
1. Millennials are lazy.
2. Millennials had everything in life given to them.
3. Millennials are overly sensitive.
4. Millennials do what they want, when they want. (They’re disrespectful and rude.)
5. Millennials don’t know what hard work is, and we job hop.
We Want To Know Our Efforts Matter
Let me start out by saying that there are some people who were born between the years 1982 and 2000, specifically in our field of nursing, who do in fact fit these descriptions. However, there are MANY who do not. These types of presumptions are being talked about day in and day out, and I have found it to become quite insulting. I do agree that there are some people that feel entitled, more than there used to be “back in the day”, but that isn’t fair to treat every Millennial in the workplace as if they fall into that category.
I have worked hard my whole life. “Working hard” to a baby boomer may not be the same kind of working hard as it is to us “millennials”, but I have worked hard nonetheless. I show up to work on time everyday. I bring the best attitude everyday. I smile and say thank you, everyday. I work hard until the end of my shift, everyday. I contribute to my co-workers and my patients everyday. What is SO frustrating is when a manager comes out of the woodworks to point out something that you didn’t chart or didn’t do, and completely ignores all of those things that we millennials do, every day….all the good stuff that goes unrecognized and will never matter. And somehow we get penalized.
Hard Work Deserves To Be Appreciated
I don’t think there is anything wrong with wanting to be appreciated. It’s healthy for a human being to be praised for a job well done and complimented for hard work. We live in a generation where we want to see love and respect for everyone. Despite our religious beliefs, for the most part, people our age see it as “we should treat humans with love and respect.” We see the hurt that history has caused. We want so desperately for it to not be this way. We live in a generation that I feel has a lot of grace and love. People my age, wanting to make a difference on a bigger level, because of history! We simply just want to be appreciated and respected. And it’s hard for us to comprehend how people just freely point fingers and say what they want to say at the expense of someone’s feelings. In all honesty, that “way” is unhealthy for all involved, and it should be changed.
We don’t live in a time where jobs are hard to come by. At least in nursing. I have recruiters emailing/calling/texting me EVERY. SINGLE. DAY…telling me that they have a job for me to apply to AND that they’ll pay me better. Listen, I know the grass isn’t greener, but what I’m saying is, if hospitals want to let management point out everything we do wrong, and not thank us or praise us for what we do right, then yes, there is an “out” if these nurses get tired of it! And they ARE leaving from this kind of thing. I’ll be honest. I left because my manager was TERRIBLE and I had another hospital knocking! It’s a new way, y’all! We have to learn to beat the old system to retain! It starts with respect.
Millennials Want To See The Change That Should Have Always “Been.”
I came from an institution where my manager treated her employees awful. I left after 9 months. I came to an institution where I actually really like my manager and she does respect me. I’ve been here for 2 years with no plans to leave. I do however, still think we need to be praised more and appreciated. This isn’t how it used to be where you could let your managers walk all over you because you HAD to keep your job just to make money. We now have jobs being thrown at us. I am NOT saying that managers and hospitals need to kiss our butts and give in. They simply need to respect their employees. Praise them, support them, and COME ALONG SIDE THEM when the bad stuff happens, instead of pointing fingers.
Millennials are smart people if you ask me. They are creative. They think outside of the box. They are CREATING jobs for others. They also have found it in them to say “Efff the establishment!” I think we are insanely smart for doing that! Nobody should just “take” negative and rude talk from their leaders. If they are working hard, they deserve respect and praise. It’s only HEALTHY that we give that to ALL nurses. I have witnessed some terrible interactions and situations handled between management and leadership. It’s disheartening. I hate seeing people in leadership who don’t know how to lead. Unfortunately, sometimes it comes down to the best candidate that is willing to step up.
Out With The Old, and In With The New
I’m tired of the 5-point scale evals that are nothing but annoying and contribute to our 20 cent raise and tells me NOTHING of how I am really viewed. Maybe something more personal and specific would helpful, instead of a GPA-like evaluation number. Instead of being a 3.45 nurse, how about a nice letter and conversation about your hard work maybe some opportunity to grow. I’m tried of the really strict rules that have forced my good friends and nurses to leave because they weren’t able to transfer internally for some dumb reason. They just deal with it by leaving the hospital in a whole, when maybe if we looked at the big picture, we could have seen what a GREAT nurse that person was. That’s just silly because not only are we losing a good nurse, but we’re losing a BODY that ultimately affects the whole hospital. I’m tired of it all coming back to us being Millennials.
These are smart, hardworking, and loving individuals who just don’t agree with how things “have always been run.” We don’t Iive in those times anymore. I think it’s healthier to be a more supportive and complementary type of people. Our deepest human need is to be appreciated. When we feel that our integrity and wellbeing is being compromised by how our workplace is handling a situation, it does make us want to leave. I happen to believe the issue isn’t loyalty with the Millennials. The issue if the LACK of loyalty that hospitals have towards their employees. We know we’ll be thrown under the bus at the drop of a dime when the “S” hits the fan, so therefore we run when that happens and we lose any desire to be loyal.
I really think there needs to be a giant REVALUATION about how things have been done. Just because “that’s how it’s always been” doesn’t mean it’s right. We need boundaries and guidelines, but we also cant afford to lose good nurses to dumb policy and poor leadership. Lets all take a step back and look more at the big picture and less at the rules. Then we might get some where….
Your heart is Mine,