Who said millennials have commitment issues? A new report by the Conference Board, a business research group, suggests that young people are more likely than their elders in many cases to pursue a long-term relationship with a single company.
The report is based on a survey of “leaders” identified by the group. Of the millennial leaders polled, 44 percent say they can see themselves staying with a single employer for more than 15 years.
Forty-four percent might not seem high, but compare it to the percentage of non-millennial leaders who say the same thing: 29 percent.
To be sure, many of the older respondents who say they won’t stick with their employer for another 15 years may simply be nearing retirement.
But even if the soon-to-be retirees are taken into account, the survey suggests that young people are not as different from their forebears as many tend to assume.
Rebecca Ray, executive director of the Conference Board, tells KWBU Radio in Texas that the stereotypes about millennials strike a similar tone to those that were tossed at baby boomers and Gen Xers in previous decades. Indeed, Tom Wolfe famously described the 1970s as the “Me Decade,” due to what he perceived as a self-centered generation of young people.
Describing the millennials surveyed, Ray says, “They are being engaged, they want to feel they are respected, well-compensated, they do work that matters, they align with the mission of the company. Now, when you look at this list — is that any different from any other generation?”
Another report released in August appeared to debunk the wide perception of millennials as entitled and lazy. The study by Project: Time Off and GfK found that millennials were more likely than older workers to express guilt about taking vacation, more likely to believe that others couldn’t do their work in their absence and more likely to express commitment to their employer.
Interestingly, the split in that study was similar to the Conference Board study. Forty-three percent of millennials answered in ways that led the report authors to deem them “workaholics,” compared to just 29 percent of respondents in other age groups.