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Are you managing mollycoddled snowflakes?

23 Feb, 2018
Are you managing mollycoddled snowflakes?

47% of British workers are looking to move job!

According to the 2018 employee sentiment poll, almost half of the British workforce are looking for alternative employment.

Whilst this is actually a 12% reduction compared to 2017 this is still an alarming state to be aware of.

25% of workers feel unhappy at work and coincidently 25% of employees feel the job market has improved over the past 12 months.

With unemployment in the UK at it’s lowest for 43 years and less European visitors seeking employment here, the job market is yet again a challenging climate if you are seeking the right candidate to join your organisation.
So let’s look at that with your organisation in mind.

  • Do you have vacancies to fill?    
  • Are you growing and do you need new people to enable that growth? 
  • Do you employ people who could be sought after by a competitor?
  • Are you confident you will retain your people if they were aware there was an alternative option?                  
  • Do you have a plan?

OK, How do you shape up?

So why are 1 in 4 employees so unhappy that it’s motivating a move in employment?

Hardly surprising that poor management is again the main citing for this level of de-motivation.

There is a wealth of research in a number of different countries that finds people tend to leave their manager and not their organisation.

So are managers wholly to blame?
When you consider the majority of managers become managers for one or more of the following reasons you might think again.

  • They are the best at the technical side of their job role – Salesperson, teacher, retail, chef etc
  • They have been in the company or team the longest
  • It’s their turn at the person before them didn’t make it
  • If you don’t promote them they’ll leave and take their knowledge, skills (and clients) with them.  

Not the best criteria for promotion to management  
And then there are the managers who went on a management development programme 20 years ago. 

Tell me what has changed in business in the last 20 years.......No scratch that

What hasn’t changed in business in the last 20 years?
Whilst there are some fundamental elements of managing people that remain constant, there are a whole lot of new requirements managers need to enable the modern workforce to be effective and remain motivated to stay working in your organisation.

It is my belief that managing bundles of hormones and emotions called human beings is harder now than ever before.

There are more diverse generations in the modern workplace than ever before. 

By 2020 over 50% of the global workforce will be the millennial generation and some of these people will hold management positions. 

The "snowflake generation,” now synonymous with millennials

The Head Teacher of a Norfolk £33,960-00 a year boarding school caused quite a stir in a recent blog (worth a read ) he wrote after interviewing for a teachers ‘one-in-a-million’ job.

The candidate, when invited to ask questions at the end of the day, during which he had, incidentally, acquitted himself quite admirably, responded by asking “Why should I come and work for you?” 

In his regular blog, Douglas Robb, the headmaster of Gresham’s currently rated in the top 30 independent boarding schools in England and an international reputation as an IBDP centre of excellence wrote:

"Among this generation today there is an underlying sense of entitlement" and "some young people today are overly mollycoddled" and "many more individuals perceive themselves to be ‘one in a million’

The inference has a familiar ring....

  • "Doesn't know he's born"
  • "Never done a days work in his life"
  • "Penpusher"

And the view from the sixth former, fully supportive of her headmaster whilst recognising the "millennial" label:

"We do a lot online and things that might go unnoticed by the older generation or that they don't understand; they see this as us not working hard enough or not being as concentrated as we could be, but we are just looking at it from a different angle."


We have the stark difference between generations which is not all about the Millennials.

What about Generation Z? 


Without a doubt, every generation denigrates the next, have thumbed their nose at their own parents, then after embracing parenthood themselves, becoming protective of their own children but pessimistic and doubtful of their abilities to shape a positive future for themselves.

In 1948 British poet T.S.Elliot said:

"We can assert with some confidence that our own period is one of decline; that the standards of culture are lower than they were fifty years ago; and that the evidences of this decline are visible in every department of human activity.” 

Business, brands and consumer conversations are global and instant, with consequences...

Just two days ago The Guardian reported "More than $1bn was wiped off Snap Inc’s market value on Thursday, in one of the company’s worst trading days since it went public last year – and the rout was led by a bored tweet from a member of the Kardashian clan"

Depending on your perspective and your generation.

It might also be said that every generation has benefitted by technological advances, but have we experienced a quantum leap, a seismic shift in the last two generations?

If you are employing apprentices or part-time school and college students you may have an appreciation of this situation.

The modern manager needs a greater set of adaptive tools and resources to be effective.

So, what are you doing about it?

We’d like to give you some simple tips you can take away and implement in your organisation straight away. 

If you need to attract, retain and grow look at your structure, your behavioural capabilities and invest in your managers to buck the trend and reduce the fallout then:

Contact the team at Expressions to learn why 8 out of 10 companies attending the Open Management Academy go on to enrol more of their staff on the same course and benefit from the pragmatic approach to managing in your organisation.



Tip 1 - Communication:

Tip 2 - Staff Retention:

Tip 3 - Motivation



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