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Millennials: Bret Easton Ellis Says to Stop Whining

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Millennials: Bret Easton Ellis Says to Stop Whining

When Gen X bad boy Bret Easton Ellis calls you Generation Wuss, no doubt you’re going to mount a defense. But is there any truth to the author’s claim that millennials — “Who [were] cocooned in praise — four stars for showing up, you know?” — crave recognition and can’t handle criticism? Or are millennials pushing for a more open, transparent, and communicative workplace culture that benefits us all and makes us more productive, loyal employees?

According to a recent survey from the American Psychological Association’s Center for Organizational Excellence, there is a strong link between employee recognition and their satisfaction, motivation, and output of work effort. “Today, business success depends on sustainable workplace practices and a healthy, high-performing workforce,” said Norman B. Anderson, PhD, CEO of the APA. “Part of promoting employee well-being is demonstrating how their efforts contribute to the organization’s success and recognizing them for their good work.”

Recognition software start-up YouEarnedIt.com, which encourages managers and colleagues to give each other public kudos through the service, recently raised $1.5 million in seed funding. CEO Autumn Manning, a longtime human resources professional, told the Wall Street Journal that she sees a growing trend in “cultures of recognition helping companies retain talent more effectively than even high salaries.” Research from Deloitte confirms that businesses spend 1 to 2 percent of their payroll on “recognition” programs on and offline that go well beyond free sets of steak knives and “Employee of the Month” photos, representing a $46 billion industry annually.

There’s a real bottom-line reason to keep millennial talent, rethink your current company culture, and find ways to infuse more recognition, flexibility, technology and social-ness, as well: the price. According to Microsoft & Experience Inc., it costs an average of $24,000 to replace each millennial employee — and that number could actually be as high as more than 21 percent of a worker’s annual salary, on average.

“While creating a great company culture and keeping employees intrinsically motivated is important, the paycheck still has a huge impact on employee morale,” Matt Straz, founder of Namely, a human resource platform focused on performance management, recently told Mashable in this piece on 6 Secrets to Millennials’ Workplace Happiness.

April Lane is a freelance writer.

Photo credit: Flickr

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