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Study by IBM Institute for Business Value refutes work myths about Millennials

A recent study by the IBM Institute for Business Value examines the differences between Millennial, Gen X and Baby Boomer employees. The study surveyed 1,784 employees from organizations across 12 countries and 6 industries and compared the preferences and behavioral patterns of millennials with those of the Gen X generation (aged 35–49) and Baby Boomers (aged 50–60).

The survey found that all three generations change jobs for similar reasons: “to enter the fast lane, shoot for the top, follow one’s heart or save the world.”While nearly one-third of millennials have had five or six jobs, it appears to be less about wanderlust and more about post-Recession malaise.

Here are three of the five myths from Fortune magazine:

“Myth #1: Millennials’ career goals and expectations are different from those of older generations.

Millennials have numerous and varied goals. They desire financial security, seniority, inspirational leadership, clearly articulated business strategies and performance-based recognition and promotions — just as much as Gen X and Baby Boomers do. Similarly, the other generations are just as interested as millennials in working with a diverse group of people.

This indicates that many changes being made to “millennialize” the workplace will – most likely – be welcomed by multiple generations, too.

Myth #2: Millennials want constant acclaim and think everyone on the team should get a trophy.

That may have been true on their childhood rec soccer leagues, but millennials have grown up – and want to be treated that way. When asked what makes a “perfect boss,” millennials said they want a manager who’s ethical and fair and also values transparency and dependability. Lower on the list of importance is a boss who recognizes their accomplishments and asks for their input.

Actually, Gen X employees, more than millennials, think everyone on a successful team should be rewarded. And millennials are no hungrier for pats on the back than their Gen X colleagues.

Myth #3: Millennials are digital addicts who want to do — and share — everything online, without regard for personal or professional boundaries.

This notion isn’t supported by the data. For example, when it comes to learning new skills at work, Millennials prioritize face-to-face contact over digital options. As for respecting professional boundaries in social media, it’s the younger generation – not Gen X or Boomers – who are most likely to draw a firm line separating their personal and professional lives.”