We humans tend to put labels on everything. We identify ourselves by the labels we are given or give ourselves. The same with millennial’s, not all millennial’s in today’s workforce fit the stereotype they have been given.
I have personally worked with a handful of millennial’s’, they bring a freshness and new perspective to the workplace, yet they also bring challenges that frustrate and try the patience of people from Generation X and Baby boomers.
One of the employees I worked with fit the millennial’s stereotype to a T. This employee had the following traits:
Needed constant feedback and praise on every task.
Always wanted to know what was in it for them, including continually asking for raises.
Sought step by step direction.
Would not work on a project unless they knew it would succeed.
Wanted complete transparency and wanted direct access to top management.
Wanted job flexibility and refused to do menial or entry level work.
I had other millennial employees that were more grounded and down to earth. There are many theories about why some millennial’s fit the classic stereotype and others are polar opposite. Regardless of where they fit in the stereotype millennial’s can add a lot to a workplace and the biggest challenge is communication.
The Gen X’s and Baby boomers don’t understand millennial’s, and millennial’s don’t understand the older generations. We will spend a few weeks discussing tips on how to bridge the multi-generational gap. The first two tips are:
Millennial’s were raised where every child received a trophy or award just for participating. They were taught that they could accomplish anything. The reality is that no one experiences success in everything they do. We all fail many times in life. That is what makes diversity, we all have different strengths and skills. To expect to always be successful is unrealistic, our greatest growth and learning comes from our failures.
Millennial’s expect complete transparency in the work place. They want to be able to converse with top management and by overstepping their supervisors the gen X’s and baby boomer sees this a disrespectful. When working with Millennial’s be sure to set clear guidelines on the chain of command, and millennial’s your ideas and input are important just be sure to follow the organizations structure.
We work in a multi-generational work force and need to learn to communicate better with the various generations for success.
By: Cheryl Viola, Executive Director