Top 11 Reasons Millennials Are Getting Fired

John Krautzel
Posted by

A study by SkillSurvey found that although millennial employees generally exhibit plenty of integrity and determination, they also have difficulties with time management, being detail oriented and working independently. Those negatives lead to poor retention of millennials. Whether you're a millennial hoping to retain your job or a manager looking to improve workforce retention, understanding current trends provides valuable insight into improving the situation.

1. Poor Communication Skills

Face-to-face communication is a weak point with many millennials. Improve your employment outlook by working on speaking clearly and responding promptly and politely during meetings and presentations.

2. Low Self-Esteem

Many millennial employees grew up with near constant direction from school and parents. These workers need extra time to feel confident presenting their own ideas and trusting in their own competence on the job.

3. Overconfidence

Conversely, some millennial employees are overconfident and less willing to learn from others. Millennial workers need to realize that employees with more experience may have a lot to offer. It's important for millennials to be open to mentoring and learning from older generations.

4. No Respect for Authority

Remember that your manager wants your relationship to work out for the benefit of the company. Treat your bosses with the same respect you'd treat a friend. If you are managing millennials, remember that respect goes both ways, and millennials employees are more likely to treat you respectfully if you give the same in return.

5. Need for Independence

Some millennial employees need a lot of freedom in deciding how and when to do work tasks. Offering that extra freedom may help these employees thrive. Not everyone is a team player. Other millennials enjoy teamwork but still resent being micromanaged.

6. Lack of Empathy

Learn to put yourself into your boss's shoes. Thinking like your manager helps you see the big picture and helps you better understand how your manager views your value to the organization.

7. High Expectations

Many millennial workers want it all, good pay, important tasks and perks. Millennials also care about the values of the companies that employ them. To boost millennial workforce retention, let workers know how steady employment with the company benefits millennials in the long term.

8. Inability to Handle Criticism

Employees who respond poorly to criticism and instruction don't usually stick around too long. Take responsibility for your actions and learn from your mistakes. Even if you are not 100 percent responsible for a problem, listen carefully and respectfully, and work to improve the areas you can.

9. Unprofessional Behavior

Always treat everyone at work in an appropriate professional manner. This goes for managers, coworkers and clients.

10. Lack of Loyalty

Even if the people around you change jobs frequently, do your best to stay put and move up within your organization. This is essential for demonstrating your loyalty to your employer.

11. Mental Health Issues

Although no one should be fired for a health issue, managers increasingly list depression and anxiety as reasons that millennial employees are let go. If you have a mental health issue, seek treatment. If you are managing millennials, be sure that they have access to support services.

Every generation has strengths and weaknesses. Millennial employees who work on in their improving weak areas become valuable assets to their companies.

Photo courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at


Become a member to take advantage of more features, like commenting and voting.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Marcia Mason thanks for your awesome comment. Couldn't have said it any better. I, too, am guilty of using the term "you guys". However, in my case, ,that is the local dialect. But truly I agree. Managers need to always remember where they came from. They didn't start as managers but worked their way up to it. They need to realize, too, that the world has changed - as you mentioned. Can you even imagine being a teen and having someone go commando on your high school? Can't even fathom it. Never had any of that growing up. So yes, managers today need to look down as well as look up. Thank you!

  • Marcia Mason
    Marcia Mason

    Empathy is one feature lacking in management for many years. It's really easy to expect all employees to react and perform the same. But that's impossible and I can't help but wonder why managers can't put practice to that realization. Employees know and utilize that fact when dealing with their different levels of bosses. Managers seldom extend that same allowance down to their workers. I'm not saying "we're all snowflakes, deal with it," but especially with millennials whose exposure to drugs, violence, high tech, cultural diversity, teen pregnancy, and even "tiger moms" is so different to the experience of baby boomers, who are overwhelmingly American WASPs. We all need to exploit each others' talents with encouragement, and disregard the limiting factors we all have in one form or another: you will never correct them, and it's not your job to try. Think about the careless use of the phrase "you guys:" it lumps everyone together in one generalization of expectation. That's the first place to look when discerning a team dynamic. Each puzzle piece is shaped differently, but together make one seamless picture. You can't play a symphony with only one instrument!

  • allen kargauer
    allen kargauer

    Many varied and salient points discussed here. Very interesting indeed. The only addition I'd like to make is, I have hope that millennials will be no different than any other generation as to "adaptation" to life's many challenges be it personal or vocational in nature, and learn & grow as they go along life's path. It "is the way of things;" to borrow a Buddhist phrase.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Joel G thanks for your comment. So true. It seems, though, that we do this with every generation. For instance the BabyBoomers. We don't all meet the "criteria" that is used to describe this generation, either, but we are still classed as BabyBoomers. Mental health issues can be across the board - not just millennials. You asked what the data source was for this article - check out the blue text as that will take you to the sources used. All the best.

  • JOEL G.
    JOEL G.

    While I do think there is hypersensitivity in the workplace amongst many millennials, I also think you’re painting an entire generation with a broad brush and it comes off condescending. Your point that people are terminated due to anxiety and depression troubles me. I find it unlikely that those diagnoses would be marked in an employee’s file as reason for termination unless there is a medical evaluation supporting such a conclusion. And I don’t think most companies do such evaluations. Many people with depression and anxiety come from all generations. And many flourish in their careers despite’s these burdens. Also curious what your data sources are.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Sharon D thanks for your comments, I, too, am from the babyboomer generation. Although I raised my child with tough love, I was much more lenient to her than my parents were to me. My child has children of her own and is more lenient with them than I was with her. So yes, just in a few generations we can see the decline. It is scary to think what the world will look like in 20 years when my granddaughters are the workforce. But you know, my parents used to say the same thing. The world is still here and will continue. We will adjust to the millennials just like our parents who were from the greatest generation that ever lived adjusted to us babyboomers. So, it's not really doom and gloom - just reality.

  • Sharon D.
    Sharon D.

    This article and the comments are spot on, thank you! I come from the Babyboomer generation and working in a world of Millennials presents more challenges than my actual work. I was raised with tough love so I raised my children with tough love, but not as tough as my parents. Every generation is more lenient than the last. Imagine, if the millennials have issues today because of their upbringing at home and school, how will they raise THEIR children? And the next generation, and the next, etc. How will they keep a job? And Fathet Time will see to it that at some point in the near future our economy and country will be controlled by the millennials. Sorry to be the doom and gloom person, but I think for the sake of our civilization we need to figure a way to break this cycle.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    Thanks ever so much @David Navarro and @Bill Struwe. Such great comments. @David perhaps we do need to change the way we are rearing our children. I know that I, also, am at fault for allowing my child to get away with things that I NEVER would have gotten away with as a child. I know that I supported my kid all the while knowing that my parents never would have done that for me. I saw the damage it caused and, today, I am left without my daughter because I gave so that she didn't have to. I should have been tougher on her. @Bill we can only imagine how hard it is for you to work in a world where you are supposed to know everything, do everything and anticipate your boss and coworkers next moves. I understand that you would like to work for a company who would appreciate what you have to offer. The sad part is that a company who would take the individual time and attention your might need is just not around anymore. Things move at lightning speed in today's technological world and companies don't take the time to "bring you" along. Personally I think your best bet is contracting. But, if you contract for a company and you see where there is a need, a void that you could fill - by all means apply. For me, when I was growing up, someone with special needs would be given jobs that are out of the public view. We didn't have all of the programs in place where we could hire a disabled employee. Sadly, today, we seem to be going back to those days prior to EEO - prior to hiring the handicapped. Wish it could be different. The only way we can bring change about is to challenge the status quo.

  • David Navarro
    David Navarro

    Not all millennials are that bad, but I have to say that this list is exactly what should be expected from children who were raised in a world where competition was downplayed and "participation trophies" were given to all; in a world where winning wasn't the goal, but having fun was; in a world where children were protected from "adversity" and "harsh realities" because we had to stop saying handicapped and disabled and instead say special and differently abled; in a world where parents were not empowered to physically discipline their children when necessary and were not supposed to yell at them to their faces and give them a good a** chewing.

    All this has led to an entitlement mentality where problems are not things to be overcome, but rather things that provide you with excuses as to why you are not like someone else and others need to give you your space and understanding. Ironic how all these measures that were supposed to build better self-esteem have failed and left that generation facing low self-esteem, mental problems, no respect for authority, inability to handle criticism, and high expectations (entitlement).

    I have supreme confidence and high self-esteem because I faced adversity growing up, I got yelled at, got my a** kicked, when I had problems I was told to man up and overcome them, when we lost sports games, we knew we were losers, when we came in last place in the league we knew why we were not getting trophies and we were told to get better and win and earn the trophy. I became adept at facing harsh criticism and then making up my mind what I was going to do to prove the critic wrong and to win and excel instead.

    Yes, I'm a winner, I'm confident, I hav supreme confidence in my ability, I have challenges and probloems but they do not stop me, I overcome, I get the job done and I get it done right.

    Perhaps we need to change the way we are raising children once again. It may also lead to less mass slaughter and crime too.

  • Bill Struwe
    Bill Struwe

    I grew up in the 90's and '00s, and have some points that do and don't match with me.
    1: I agree with because that is because I have Asperger's Syndrome, which retarded my social skills to the point where having an interview is tough.

    2: I have low self-esteem because very few employers give me a chance to show what I can really do.

    3: I hope that I am humble enough to know that I can always learn more, but how can I be confident in this dog-eat-dog world? I have the experience of a work environment, but graduated recently enough to understand the millenial mind.

    4: I grew up respecting authoritah, but learned recently that most adults don't deserve respect with the behavior they display in customer service industries. I respect those who respect me, vice versa.

    5: I need tasks to be given to me, on paper, vocalized clearly, and given clear details of the job. Don't expect me to be psychic.

    6: I get this point, as I am somewhat lacking in empathy towards those in higher echelons.

    7: With the way the economy tanked 5-7 years ago, I was absolutely desperate for any job I could land and hold onto. Most companies I've worked for are contract-based, where they let me go and pushed me out the door when I was done.

    8: I can handle criticism; I'm not a baby who must have things their way.

Jobs to Watch