Faced by a “War for Talent,” organizations are desperately seeking to improve their ability to attract, develop, and retain employees. Among these efforts, generational issues have become a primary focus for interest and investment. Most new workforce entrants are younger than a company’s current employees, and alongside this systematic age difference comes a host of assumptions and stereotypes about Millennials, impacting whether and how employee practices are implemented. Organizations must know the veracity of these distinctions to take informed action for mitigating the risk of generational conflict, competitive talent disadvantage, and unsustainability of the organization itself if the also-prominent trend of retiring Baby Boomers leads to an irreversible “brain drain.”

Attention to this issue was further increased in early 2015, as Millennials became the largest generational ...

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