The Millennial dynamic continues to evolve and elicit varied opinions among the different generations in the workforce. Depending on the age group with which you identify (Baby Boomer, Generation X or Generation Y/Millennial) you probably have strong opinions about how certain generations work and what is/is not acceptable in the workplace. If the leaders in your company include a heavier concentration of upper management in the Baby Boomer group you may wonder what’s happening, especially as those under the age of 30 continue to create incredible workplace shifts. One example is the Millennial generation’s technological savvy. So depending on your company’s outlook on technology and its incorporation in the day-to-day business this could either be an incredible positive for millennial employment or one fraught with questions.
Not yet Clearly Defined
For the first time in history, we have a workplace made up of employees from all three generations. This scenario necessitates a near-continuous balancing act that requires addressing the needs of each particular generation in order to keep employee engagement high and turnover low. On a “normal” day this could mean a number of communication scenarios, each influenced by generational expectations. This means the use of a medium as basic as email or phone has the potential to hit multiple communication roadblocks depending on who is the sender and who is the receiver of the message.
Yes, it’s complicated, but one of the challenges, and potential benefits, is finding a system that works for most people, most of the time. This could change based on who is heading up a project or initiative. A good place to start is ask how people want to receive their communication. Answers could include an email, text, instant message, phone call, or in person. By better understanding the preferred means of communication, there’s a greater chance of receiving the message and improving compliance overall. The Millennial generation is often cited for their comfort with using a variety of technologies for communication. Rather than turning a blind eye to this, offer opportunities for the younger generation to teach others what they know. Not only does this introduce the possibility of greater inclusiveness, it also can offer a new perspective on the mentor/mentee relationship.
Let’s face it, change is rarely easy but it’s often advantageous in the end. Giving a voice to each generation has the potential to create a more inclusive working environment. If you’re not yet convinced, remember that in just a couple of years, Generation Z, the brothers and sisters of the Millennials, are set to enter the workforce. This means that Millennials and Generation Z will soon make up the majority of employees in the workforce. Learning to find a common path sooner, rather than later, is going to be an ongoing element for success today and every day forward.
This article is brought to you by Staffing Kansas City, a full-service Kansas City employment agency that provides contract-to-hire, direct hire and temporary employment placement services.