Are you sick of reading and hearing about generations in the workplace? How Millennials have overtaken Boomers as the largest single group? And what about the teeny tiny Gen Xers, dissed as near irrelevant? As tired of it all you may be, it remains worthy of discussion for your work teams and succession planning. Ignore the debate at your own risk. Employers who ignore the issues are likely doomed.
Waiting on the world to change
Millennials are the most educated and diverse generation in American history. Studies and surveys show they are idealistic, value community service oriented and collaboration. They want to change the world for the better. Employers can tap into this motivating energy and put them to work at making their organizations better!
People try to put us down
Blogs and office chit chat often list demeaning stereotypes about Millennials in the workplace: privileged and entitled, techno-dependent, lacking loyalty/ interpersonal people skills, laziness, blah blah blah. MSEC’s recent Millennial “World Café” event along with other studies and surveys debunk these myths. Challenging work, career growth, mentoring and opportunities to contribute in the workplace are sought by Millennials. Like older generations, they also desire good pay, benefits and respectful work environments. Boomers and Millennials value and struggle to achieve work/life balance; they agree employers should offer more work schedule flexibility to help them achieve balance.
Stuck in the middle with you
Gen Xers, stuck between older stubbornly actively brethren the Boomers and the whippersnapper Millennials, are oft overlooked. But they don’t care about being pushed off the front page. They are at the peak of generational influence, in positions of authority and quietly influencing the world. Xers are seeking to balance the brain drain of retiring Boomers while mining the wealth of energy and tech savvy of Millennials. For employers suffering “brain drain”, Gen Xers can provide mentoring to Millennials who crave professional guidance and feedback.
Everybody wants to rule the world
Millennials will dominate for decades to come, but they’re not alone. Today’s workplace is a dynamic blend of life experiences, expectations and energies. Those American employers who make the effort to embrace the uniqueness of each generation and effectively engage employees of all generations will triumph.