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40% of your Millennial Employees might be stealing from you through ‘Quiet Vacations’

(according to a Forbes survey)

By Paul T Ayres

Are you chasing improvements to team productivity? If you’re like the rest of us, you likely are. I think you’ll find this useful in managing your people. Minimally you’ll find it great thought fuel for assessing your team and its alignment to your mission. Getting our teams optimized in pursuit of your company’s mission to produce margin is how we all live to work another day. I’d love to know your thoughts. And let me know if you would like to utilize one of my limited discovery calls (you can sign up on my website) to start the transformation you are looking for.


Here is my recent blog on the subject and the article:

Can we assume for a minute that the large majority of these employers of these 40% Millennials are either good or great employers?  

A 'great employer' defined partially as the roles, compensation, paid time off are all aligned with best practices and competitive in the job market. Can we also assume for another minute all of reference survey takers voluntarily accepted a position and by doing so agreed to the role, compensation and paid time off?  

Once we do this, it seems the obvious conclusion is these 40% are simply stealing corporate resources and committing fraud. Can we not 'walk on eggshells' around this dysfunctional reality? What on earth would justify such behavior? This is simply unacceptable and extremely bad behavior.  A wise guy once told me 'you get that which you tolerate.' Tolerate this by keeping these thieves and liars, and you'll likely get more. 

For the life of me, I don't understand why you'd keep such a fraud on your payroll. Now, having said that, a funny thing about the art and science of management and leadership, we can find exceptions to almost everything we state!  Still, such stats and surveys just add to the negative brand of the millennial generation. This rant of mine is most certainly not appropriate for so many quality, honest, hardworking and productive millennials. But a new reality for 40%? That's terrifying and should have your attention.

76% wish employers focused more on the value of taking time off. Yet the article goes on to say a full 80% don't use all the vacation benefits. 'Pressure to always be available.'  This is a reason cited. If true, isn't 'be available' driven by the need for a result? Yes, I think this is true. So, maybe the root cause is 'no results.' I think this is at least partially true and could be driving, in part, these types of responses and conclusions. After all, one thing we know is it is hard for individuals to accept shortcomings. It is also hard to find those truly accountable who own results, good or bad. And who also take action to right errors and move the organization forward. And by doing so, add valuable experience to their portfolio once issues are eliminated. 

I take exception to a 'a growing gap' between employers and employees with respect to paid time off. I think the issue is larger. Remember the band from 1985, Dire Straits? Money for nothing, chicks for free…. Could it be that the expectation for what 'work' is at odds? In today's dollars it seems everybody wants (and thinks they are worth it) a hundred grand for entry level and base line jobs but for 30 hrs., even less per week? I'm exaggerating (just a bit?) here to make the point. 

How then do the employers pay this and maintain margin? 

Remember, most of margin goes to sustain the business. Markets don't want more price for less value. As results per capita drop in your organization as you might chose to tolerate compensation and benefits for no real margin gain, you are destined for a stormy future.  


I'm back to 'alignment.' Does anyone in the Green Bay Packer organization not know, or is not aligned with the mission of that organization (my Viking fan friends shut up!). More on this later. The point is, the degree with which said millennials are aligned with the organization might contribute to dysfunctional behavior. That is NOT to say, stealing and fraud are justified simply because you don't like the direction of your employer.


Would love your thoughts on this. Let us all fight the good fight by creating real margin and utility for our customers through the good and honest work of our teams. Make it a great day!


Here is the link:

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