Millennials Unprepared for Workplace Challenges

By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 05-19-2014 Email Print this article Print

CIOs and other managers realize they're highly dependent upon the present and future performance of Millennials to remain competitive. But this younger generation of workers is falling short when it comes to the soft skills required to get the job done, according to a recent survey from Bentley University. The accompanying report, "Millennials in the Workplace," indicates that business leaders need these employees to better prepare themselves for the level of communications, professionalism and team focus required to succeed today. (Surprisingly, they're not as concerned about whether Millennials have job-specific capabilities.) "What is clear is that the current lack of preparedness among Millennials could have direct consequences on company productivity and our economy," according to the report. "Thus, it's crucial that all stakeholders work together to find a way to close the skills gap. Encouragingly, all stakeholders recognize that they are part of the preparedness problem, but more importantly, they also agree that each has a role in solving it." Nearly 3,150 respondents took part in the research—a broad participant pool which included business decision-makers, corporate recruiters and representatives of higher education, in addition to members of the general public. For more about the survey, click here

  • Initial Concerns

    62% of business professionals say the lack of preparedness of recent college graduates for their first job is a problem, and 64% say this is hurting their organization's productivity.
    Initial Concerns
  • Ripple Effect

    Three in four respondents say this lack of preparedness is contributing to economic problems today.
    Ripple Effect
  • Tech Assets

    78% of non-Millennials believe the advanced tech skills of Millennials will allow them to get ahead as professionals.
    Tech Assets
  • Divided Sentiment

    89% of Millennials say they have a strong work ethic, but 74% of non-Millennials say this generation lacks the work ethic of older workers.
    Divided Sentiment
  • Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

    51% of business professionals view Millennials as "dispensable," concluding that they'll be gone in a couple years and, therefore, aren't worth career-development investment.
    Here Today, Gone Tomorrow
  • Minor Concern

    Just 19% of these business professionals say hard skills are more important than soft skills, and only 40% say job-specific knowledge is important.
    Minor Concern
  • So-So Results

    60% of professionals give recent college graduates a C grade or lower on soft skills.
    So-So Results
  • Top Soft Skills Sought by Business Leaders

    Integrity: 81%, Professionalism: 75%, Positive attitude: 75%, Oral communications: 71%, Team player capabilities: 71%
    Top Soft Skills Sought by Business Leaders
  • Higher Purpose

    85% of Millennials say it's important for them to work for a socially responsible or ethical company.
    Higher Purpose
  • A Question of Loyalty

    55% of Millennials feel loyal to the organization they work for, but 51% don't expect their company to be loyal to them.
    A Question of Loyalty
  • Personality Clash

    39% of non-Millennials say they encounter difficulties in relating to this generation, and 35% say they're difficult to work with.
    Personality Clash
  • State of Disconnect

    Two-thirds of Millennials say older generations don't understand them and others their age.
    State of Disconnect
  • Consensus Agreement

    57% of business professionals say Millennials will need to change to conform in the workplace, and 56% of Millennials agree.
    Consensus Agreement


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