Employer Branding

Are UK Millennials a Generation of Sycophants?

Eager to please and image-conscious, two thirds of millennials define themselves as ‘yes’ employees – almost double the proportion of older workers.

A competitive job market has turned the UK’s millennials into a generation of ‘yes’ workers, according to a new study – New Norms @Work – based on a Censuswide survey of 1,002 UK full-time workers aged 18 and over, conducted in April 2015.

The research reveals that two thirds (64%) of 18-24 year olds and over half (56%) of 25-34 year olds now describe themselves as ‘yes’ men and women – unwilling to offer a contradictory opinion.

Older workers, on the other hand, are more likely to stand their ground in the workplace. Less than a quarter (24%) of over 55s describe themselves as ‘yes’ employees, and over two thirds of this age group (64%) would stand up to their boss by challenging them with their opinions and ideas.

Commenting on the findings, LinkedIn’s Darain Faraz said,

“The results from LinkedIn’s New Norms @Work study illustrate how professionals from across the UK are reshaping their professional brands both online and on the job. They’ve had to adapt to get ahead, whether it’s honing their professional identity online or making a bigger effort to stay on the right side of their boss.”

The findings also reveal that the way UK professionals perceive themselves and others in the workplace and online are changing, with appearances and first impressions mattering more than ever.

Professionals aren’t just paying attention to their own image; nearly half (46%) of UK workers admit that they would judge a colleague based on their appearance, with younger generations being most judgemental.

Women feel most under pressure to impress in the workplace, with more than a quarter (27%) feeling they are judged more on what they wear to work than men.

Inspired by the rise of the ‘selfie’, a third (28%) of 18-24 year olds now think more carefully about their LinkedIn profile photo versus their image on other social networks, with a third of this age group admitting they judge others on the basis of this image.

In a bid to make a good first impression only one in five (22%) 18-24 year olds and a quarter of 25-34 year olds would be honest about being fired from a job, compared with half of their older counterparts.

Although most mature workers didn’t have tools like LinkedIn to kick-start their career, almost half (42%) of professionals say they’re actively impressed by the experience section on someone’s LinkedIn profile and a quarter (25%) get their first impressions from a profile photo.

RELATED: Top 7 LinkedIn Profile Pictures You Should NEVER Use

New Norms @Work from LinkedIn



By Jörgen Sundberg

Founder of Undercover Recruiter & CEO of Link Humans, home of The Employer Brand Index.