At Vibram, where employees go for runs on their lunch breaks, sit on exercise balls at their desks, and walk the halls in workout shorts, Millennials have “brought an open, fresh, fun vibe to the company,” operations manager Jim Simpson said.
“They’re quick to adapt,” Simpson said. “They say, ‘This makes sense, let’s do this.’ ” He added that he has had to get used to younger employees “texting in sick,” instead of calling when they are going to miss work.
Millennial workers provide “an infusion of new blood,” said Ron O’Brien, director of public relations for Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., a Waltham company that makes scientific instruments.
“I’ve come to associate them with advances in the way that the company is run,” O’Brien said. “These guys are contributing from the moment they start at the company.”
Young workers at Thermo Fisher said they are attracted to a rotation program that continuously provides them with new challenges, a corporate social responsibility program that allows them to visit high schools to talk about the importance of math and science, and the company’s mission, which it states is to enable its customers to make the world healthier, cleaner, and safer.
Some Millennials at Thermo Fisher bristled at the notion that they think they are “entitled,” but they did say they are willing to lobby for what they want and to make a change if they are not happy.
“Our parents’ generation, they would just stick it out,” said Dan Hoover, 23. “They wouldn’t shift and go do something completely different that they’re not trained for. Millennials will shift and do something out of the ordinary for them.”
Erica Hirsch, 31, said of the generation’s mind-set: “You’re not satisfied with staying at the same level. You want to get to where you’re headed as soon as you can or at least know you’re on the path there.”
Even though most Millennials have not succeeded as quickly as they had hoped, they have maintained a sense of optimism and are making steady headway, said Reiser, at Babson.
“They’re quickly moving into leadership roles,” she said. “They’ll be making the decisions in pretty short order.”
Calvin Hennick can be reached at email@example.com.