The labor market is already empty, and then there is the generation born after 1995 and they create unattainable conditions – this is being heard in many offices in Bavaria. The boys are poorly trained and unmotivated, and they don’t feel like taking responsibility and making their own decisions. However, they have utopian ideas in wage negotiations.
Better to take the easy route
As you know, the lawsuit is a greeting from merchants. The truth, as is often the case, lies somewhere in the middle. And this truth is best found in a representative like Justin Fetzer. A 23-year-old business administration student sits in his father’s office with a soft drink. Outside, everyday life continues in the main branch of outpatient rehabilitation and physiotherapy in Kempten. The modern F + P gym is located on the lower floor – it will belong to Justin one day.
Yes, Fetzer admits he would like to have an office like this one day. But it really has nothing to do with physical therapy or fitness. He knows Excel well, talks and laughs. But if Fetzer has nothing to do with the healthcare industry in terms of content – why is he taking over his father’s company and not going his own way?
The lack of a generation’s initiative is historically new
“I grew up with a physical therapist,” she says, shrugging her shoulders. – And I will stop now. This attitude is not only common but also historically new, says Rüdiger Maas. He is a generational researcher and management consultant in Augsburg, and has also advised F + P. Of course, there were always successive generations in which the father handed over the work to his son. But the fact that the younger generation lacked the imagination to come up with something of their own is completely new.
The reasons are different. The pandemic has certainly been a stumbling block for many young people – including Justin Fetzer. He spent almost the entire course in his home office and also saved himself a planned semester abroad. But another factor is much more decisive, says generation researcher Maas: “About 1,800 people celebrate their 18th birthday each day. But 3,500 people turn 65. This is a huge difference. There are just very few of them.
In focus: baby boomers
In translation, this means that each of these post-millennial children has always been surrounded by two adults in the playground, who not only protect them – but also fulfill their every wish. These young people have always felt recognized and taken seriously and have grown up knowing that they can do what they want in the most positive sense.
Therefore, money, wealth or power are no longer particularly important to them. Instead, they focus on their own development – that’s how they’ve learned it. That is why young people see themselves first and foremost, their needs are at the center of attention. Which is why they don’t feel like spending their time for the company. It is more important for them to spend their days wisely – and they decide for themselves what makes sense.
Social values are gaining importance again
However, positive things can also be learned from this egocentrism, says Rüdiger Maas: For example, the younger generation is often so financially independent that social values such as friendship, charity and family come to the fore again. The data shows that they are often largely free from homophobia, racism and sexism. They do not quickly judge others, and most of all, they have a strong need for attachment and security. During the pandemic, they called for the strictest restrictions.
The desire for loyalty is an opportunity for companies
This is where Maas sees a great opportunity for small and medium-sized enterprises. Because their structures are most likely to ensure that the younger ones feel seen. You play a central role there, instead of just being a number like in a large corporation. For this reason, they also ignore high wages or open-ended contracts.
Besides, the generation is still very young. Maas suspects that reluctance to take responsibility may change as soon as they have children themselves, for example, when they have to move out of the family home. Justin Fetzer, successor to Physio from Kempten in Allgäu, also knows that his future is not only soft drinks and a nice office. “I’m going to have to work a lot,” he says. “I have a lot of respect for that.”