Entitlement: What It Means For the Next Generation of Employees

When a person is entitled or behaves in an entitled manner, they believe that he/she deserves certain privileges or special treatment (often in an arrogant way). The term “Culture of Entitlement” suggests that a rising number of youths today have a highly unreasonable expectation about what they are entitled to and deserve in the workplace.

Entitlement is one of the biggest issues and challenges faced by employers and parents of youth that fall into the Generation Y age bracket: They can be unmotivated, unhelpful and self-absorbed. When it comes to work, entitled youth don’t think they should start on low/apprentice wages, they typically don’t want to work with fast food or other undesirable positions, and are often wanting more despite everything they are given.

Does this sound like anyone you know?

In the Employment First Aid (EFA) program, there is a distinct separation of two typical types of clients: Entitled Gen Y youth and extremely disadvantaged youth. The former generally do not know how to keep a job because up until now have had a relatively “easy” home life, education and childhood. After having everything given to them without having to work for it and receiving constant parental reassurance that they are “special” or “above the average”, they typically lack resilience and do not take well to criticism. This causes them to give up easily and outwardly blame other circumstances for their failures. Meanwhile, the disadvantaged youth tend to come from a child safety background, in and out of foster care, with little to no family support, and numerous mental health issues.

The wants and needs of these two types of youth are on two completely different wave lengths. While the disadvantaged youth are happy just to have bare necessities (food, a birth certificate and a roof over their heads), their entitled job competitors are rarely satisfied with the many things they already have. Most of the time, entitled youth have trouble differentiating “want” with “need”, alleging they “need” the latest technology or unnecessary item to feel fulfilled.

Entitled youth are becoming more and more common with our Gen Y youth due to changes in parenting over the years. As having two working parents in the household has increased, there has been a significant change in parenting direction and priorities. When both parents work, they tend to become very busy and “time-poor”, and are buying their child’s love instead of earning it (often out of guilt or to bypass real duties of parenting).

There are nine major areas that have changed in parenting priorities over the years thus leading to youth developing entitlement issues. As a result, this affects youth’s resilience and coping strategies, and can lead to multiple employment issues (falling in and out of employment, unrealistic expectations of pay, etc).

Parents of entitled youth tend to;

  • Reward bad behaviour
  • Empower a bad attitude in youth
  • Rescue their youth (don’t let them learn from their mistakes)
  • Confuse necessities with privileges
  • Don’t set or enforce boundaries
  • Don’t encourage positive change
  • Don’t offer new opportunities
  • Be inconsistent with punishments, attention, time and rewards
  • Have little to no consequences for actions (blame everyone else when something goes wrong)

These problems with entitled youth can make it difficult for them further down the line as entitlement is not accepted in the workforce. Entitled Gen Y youth often have not developed coping strategies and they expect to be rewarded for everything they do in their job.

EFA has implemented the Tuckman’s tool, a team development model that brings awareness of the stages in the workforce; forming, storming, norming, and performing. It is important for youth to be able to identify when a certain stage is happening in their workforce team and build certain strategies to cope with it. Not everything at work is going to be sunshine and rainbows, there are different stages with different situations and personality types.

The team at EFA have also helped youth with identifying the distinct difference in what is a “want” and what is a “need” in life. It brings the youth back down to earth and helps them see that you must work for what you have, it is not given to you. Entitlement in youth is going to be an ongoing battle in society and the workplace but with programs like EFA adding extra support, hopefully the entitled youth will learn to be grateful and that not everything comes easy.

There’s no such thing as being too organised in the workforce!

Failing to plan is planning to fail: A quote once said by Benjamin Franklin that is still more than relevant today.

There are numerous reasons why being organised is important in the workplace. During an interview, planning will not only impress the interviewer, but it also assists with those first interview nerves. When you’ve planned an answer or strategy for the questions, you won’t feel put on the spot or thrown into the deep end and will feel more relaxed and in control of the interview. It is also important to research the company and job title you are applying for. The interviewer may ask you specific questions about the industry, company or role, during which it’s better to have a basic understanding of what those are so you aren’t caught off guard. You are more likely to get hired if you have prepared for the interview and know what your employer is talking about.

Now not only are you prepared knowledge wise for your interview, but you should feel more confident too. Confidence in responding to questions and while talking to people make you more memorable than previous applicants. The combination of your planning and confidence will assist you in building a rapport with the employer, being familiar with the operations and showing an interest in the opportunity: all promising things a potential employee should have! Don’t forget to consider transport when applying for jobs and always plan ahead. It is better to schedule interviews or work days for when you have a means of getting there, to avoid cancelling and potentially ruining any plans your employer might have staff-wise. Think ahead and have more than one means of transport in case one falls through – you want to be a reliable, punctual employee and get off to a good start.

Remember: there’s no such thing as being too organised in the workforce!

Constructive Criticism in the Workplace

In the workplace, there can be sometimes be an unspoken rule of “what the employer says is always right”, but there comes a time when rules can be altered. There can be a case of bosses or supervisors telling you what to do, but rarely them asking for your thoughts or opinions on the task. If there’s something you don’t understand would you rather have your employer tell you again or ask you what’s causing the confusion?

Having someone ask your opinion on instructions can make all the difference in the workplace, not only in regards to the work but also the employer/employee relationship.

“What do you think? What’s your opinion on all of this?”


Asking employees for feedback has not always been part of the traditional management style. As a manager, it is often thought that the microphone of power naturally belongs to them and that employees should fall in line as expected. However, with the new-millennium workplace taking over it is important to note the best ways to give feedback and how is it best received.

Feedback, or constructive criticism, can be just as important for the employer to hear as it is for the employee and it is best received from a person each party trusts. It’s that simple. Without trust, there’s little care factor for what is thought of each party’s performance and little care factor for pleasing people and changing particular habits or ways. If this is the relationship between manager and employee, the only way to make them change their ways is by threat, which does not work well in the workplace. This is not seen as leadership but as command and control.

The truth about constructive criticism is that the words don’t matter whether they came from a negative perspective (“you really messed that up”) or a positive perspective (“here’s another way to do that”), what matters is the relationship between the words exchanged. If the employee trusts their manager, they can handle the harshest feedback because they know the manger has their best interest at heart.

Unfortunately, constructive criticism has been neglected to a certain degree and therefore there has been a gap in the developing strategies and coping mechanism with youth. It is fundamental that there is a strong relationship and a bond of trust between youth and management to aid employees in retaining their employment. This is also a key tool for employers as resilience is not a strong attribute in a high percentage of millennials.


Full-Time/Part-Time Versus Casual Employment In The Work Place

Labels and titles can sometimes be a tricky thing to understand, but it’s undeniably important to know what they mean to avoid making regrettable choices (think washing instructions on clothes or someone with dietary requirements misunderstanding food packaging labels). When it comes to types of employment, it’s vital to know the difference in terms and what you’re signing up for.

Are you a full-time, part-time or casual employee? (You may also refer to these as casual, permanent part-time or permanent workers). Employers can simultaneously hire casual, part-time and full-time employees for a plethora of reasons, whether it be flexibility within their business or to accommodate to the staff’s personal needs.

Let’s start with the basics: What are the differences between casual, part-time or full-time employment? In most cases, full-time and part-time employees receive benefits that casual employees do not. There is also typically a difference in how they get paid: full-time and part-time on a salary or set wage vs. casuals on an hourly rate.


What Are Full-Time are Part-Time Employees?

Traditionally, working 38 hours a week has been considered “full-time” employment though depending on the workplace, the hours can vary. The term “permanent” signifies job security as there is ongoing work from the employer and no predetermined end date.

Some employers require fewer hours than full-time status, such as 35, 32, or even 30 hours. This is termed “part-time/permanent part-time”. The employee has the same work security and stability of full-time workers though works fewer hours. These workers could choose to work part-time if they have other things occupying their time, such as another job, hobby, parenthood or otherwise.

In most cases, the difference between full-time and part-time are the accruing of annual leave, which depending on the hours is generally halved.  Workers have the same wages per hour and can still accrue paid sick leave and annual leave (have paid time off).


What Are Casual Employees?

A casual employee is one who generally works less than full-time and part-time employees. While this sounds obvious, it’s important to understand the distinction.

The main difference is that casuals are paid different to full- and part-time employees. Casuals are paid only for the time they work. For example, if a workplace is overstaffed, they will typically relieve a casual from work as it reduces costs. Casuals are not entitled to paid sick days, annual leave or any other form of paid time off. In most cases, hiring casuals is more affordable and flexible for employers.

Some specific types of employees or jobs can be casual. For example, an employer may want to make all laborers casual, but their administration employers full-time or part-time. Employers can pay casual employees at hourly rates, and pay different rates for different types of work.

Depending on the company, casual work is rarely as secure as full- or part-time work. There doesn’t have to be a consistency of work or hours (unless otherwise stated), with some casuals going from working 30 hours a week to zero the next. This can benefit casual workers, as if they have something else going on (events, exams, holidays, etc), it’s easier for them to get the required time off work.


Where Can You Access More Information?

For more information, you can visit the website of Fair Work http://www.fairwork.gov.au/ to gain a better understanding of the type of employment that will suit you and your circumstances.

 Why is it Important to set Goals

Increases Self-Confidence

When you set goals and achieve them, it provides a major boost to your self-confidence. This increase in self-confidence will improve all areas of your life, from your relationships with people to your success in business to your overall attitude.

Pushes Your Comfort Zone

Along with boosting your self-confidence, setting goals also provides an opportunity to expand your comfort zone. By setting goals and breaking them down step by step it makes them more achievable and also enables you to expand outside your usual comfort zone.

Balance Long-Term and Short-Term Goals

While there are no rules for setting goals, we recommend striking the right balance of short term and long term. This way, you have big things to work towards while still benefiting from the motivation that comes from achieving things in the short term.

For example, you might have a long-term vision of running a marathon, but that’s far too big a goal to help you maintain the motivation to meet it. To balance this, you can break that down into smaller goals that form a marathon training plan that consists of running a certain number of kilometres per week. This way your goal is much more achievable.

Set SMART Goals

The SMART goal framework is a powerful tool that you can use to set yourself up for success to achieve any goal you want. It consists of setting goals that meet the following criteria:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

By using this SMART guideline, it makes it more achievable to reach your goals and gives you a greater chance at achieving these goals.


Social Media & Your Work

If you use social media and have a job, what you post, share or even like online can have an adverse effect on your employment.  Several issues can lead to disciplinary action — AND no matter how you have set your privacy settings.  So to help keep you out trouble and stay in the good books with the boss, here are some handy hints for you to check out.

  1. Don’t post photos of yourself partying when you have pulled a sickie!

Not a good idea for you to post photos of yourself having a whale of a time out and about when you’re supposed to be sick.  You may be surprised that your boss has found out that you went to the clubs or that concert you were bragging about just days earlier.

  1. Don’t let steam off online!

If you have had a crappy day at work, you might be tempted to post about it on social media.  Your comments on social media can get you in trouble even if the posts are posted on your personal account and are made outside of work hours.  They can damage the employers name and dissolve any trust the employer had in you and more than likely, destroy the work relationship.  And, if you’re negative comments are about a work colleague, your post can be determined as bullying or harassment.  Think of it this way, would you be happy to see your post on the front page of the local newspaper. If not, probably best not to post it.  Also, take into consideration of the legal consequences that could come from it.

  1. Don’t spend extra amounts of time on personal social media in work hours!

After all you ARE there to work.  If you are sitting in front of our laptop, and keep looking at your phone, or your phone continuously beeps, this is inadvertently letting others know you are on social media, while you are meant to be working.  Depending on your job description, (check with HR), as spending too much time looking at your own personal social media accounts, could lead to disciplinary action.  Your boss may feel it is interfering with your work.

  1. Don’t share inappropriate content with your colleagues!

A big no – no, and a topic that most would like to avoid talking about, is sharing pornography and any other inappropriate content with colleagues.  Many will be offended and most likely will lead to disciplinary action and in some cases legal action sort.

  1. Remember you’re being monitored

Many employers may be monitored by their employee’s web traffic when they’re using the employer’s network.  It can tell how long you have ben on the web and what you have been looking up.  If your boss needs to take your PC for what ever reason, they could potentially look at your browser history to see what you did have been looking at and when.  While times are changing, there are still a lot of work places that do not allow the use of social media in work hours.  Again, check with you employer and their expectations.

Social media tips for employees

  • Be aware of your workplace’s social media policy
  • Avoid letting off steam about your workplace & other people you work with
  • Consider what you put on social media may affect your work life reputation and future career opportunities
  • Avoid excessive personal social media use at work, if social media is permitted in the work place.

Asking For Feedback

Asking your boss for feedback can improve your career progression

Good feedback can mean the difference between an average career and one that’s amazing and long lasting!

And even though it’s always on my mind, it’s left me feeling anxious and nervous about speaking to the manager on what I can improve on and where I can step up in my employment.  I was afraid of constructive criticism, negative reviews and hurt feelings, but asking the question could really support my career in the right direction.

There are many ways of asking for feedback, setting a time after your shift to sit somewhere private, emailing your employer on different items to discuss or making the time to speak over the phone.  Sometimes employers can assume things about you with your work goals or life goals, but it’s great to take the time out to express your wish for promotion or thoughts on how the team can work quicker and still get the job done on time.

When it comes to asking for feedback about your employment, it doesn’t matter who starts the conversation. What matters is that the lines of communication are open between yourself and your employer or manager. It’s a positive feeling to receive feedback so you continue to grow in your chosen career.  If you hear something surprising or even unpleasant, it’s best to remain calm and quiet when your manager is talking to you, never interrupt to give your side of the conversation. Never blame other co-workers for something that happened, if you did make a mistake own it and apologize to your manager and your team and move on from that moment on.

Just know that good, bad, or in between, it’s best to listen, take time to process, and then respond in a professional and thoughtful manner.

Keys Points

  1. Approach your manager at an appropriate time and place
  2. Have an agenda, and jot down notes on the feedback
  3. Use the feedback in daily tasks.
  4. Have yearly meetings with managers regarding progression.

Happiness & Healthiness At Work

Happy employees are healthier and more productive – so check the importance of having fun in the workplace

So many times, I hear people say, “Oh we should have a long weekend every weekend!!” And how cool would that be?  Just to only work 4 days and have the other 3 off 😊

While most people, generally, would rather spend time with their friends and family than be at work, there’s no need for work days to be all dull and boring.  It’s okay to have a little fun as well.  After all, most of us may have to work the 5-day week and some even longer.

Putting some time and effort into making your workplace a more enjoyable place to be can create positive vibes for employees, colleagues, and even the bosses and clients.  Here are 3 good reasons why fun should be part of our everyday working life.

Having fun at work improves communication!

Enjoying time with your work mates in more chilled and fun surroundings encourages honest and open discussions.  If employees can all get along at work, rather than just being ‘other people’ we work with, then they’ll work better together and communicate more effectively.

Having fun with people at work or play is a great way to learn how each other tick.   What we like, don’t like and build habits that create understanding. This gets us/them to better understand each other’s strengths, weaknesses and where the lines are drawn.

Fun at work creates creativity!

Most people will agree that young children often learn best when they are playing, interacting with other children; well the same applies to adults.

Everybody’s ability to learn gets better when the job you have been given is enjoyable and they’re in a relaxed mood. Play can create imagination, helping people to problem solve.

When there’s a buzz in the air, work mates become more enthusiastic and have lots of conversations about how their work is going and often will help if they see someone might be struggling.

Happy employees are healthier employees!

Happy and content employees who have fun at work are more likely to avoid the effects of stress and anxiety.

The health effects that happiness has on your work place will also help to reduce absence and increase productivity.  If workers are generally healthier because of the increased fun they’re having in the office, then they’ll take less time off due to sickness or just simply not wanting to go to work.  Again, wishing for that long weekend … EVERY weekend.

Anger and anxiety in the work place can create negative feelings of not wanting to be there.  Negative emotions are no good for you.  Constant stress or fear can alter biological systems and over time, will wear you down, and eventually, can cause such things as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

Resilience in Youth

What is resilience? It’s the ability to cope with unexpected changes and challenges in your life.

In life unfortunately, it’s sometimes not possible to avoid stressful or adverse situations but with some great techniques and strategies you can strengthen your capacity to deal with challenges and develop resilience.

In the workplace especially, resilience can be hindering on an employee if they don’t know how to handle or deal with situations that may arise. Listed are some great coping strategies that may help if added to your daily schedule:

  • Exercise
  • Meditation or relaxation
  • Setting goals
  • Breaking challenges down into smaller parts
  • Keeping a dream diary
  • Take a break or time out
  • Seeing the big picture

Having great coping strategies are essential in building resilience but strengthening your resilience in the workplace enables you to better cope with challenging situations. Mental well-being is very important in the workplace and if your resilience is low this can be hugely affected.

Here are some great things that can help build and strengthen your resilience:

  • Know your strengths and use them well
  • Build your self esteem
  • Think positively
  • Build healthy work relationships
  • Ask for help when needed
  • Be in tune with stress management
  • Be aware of anxiety/depression
  • Work on problem solving skills
  • Utilise your coping strategies