Millennial’s in the Work Force – Segment 2

In our previous segment about multi-generational work places we discussed millennial’s and bridging the communication barrier. We covered the value and learning opportunities that comes from failure as we will not always be successful at everything we do. We also discussed the need for transparency and to not overstep a supervisor or managers authority. Today we will discuss some tools for management and other co-workers of millennial’s.

Because the millennial generation is very good at expressing themselves they are often perceived as extremely confident individuals. The truth is that they are not as confident as they appear. Millennial’s were raised in a culture where they were told they were wonderful and could accomplish anything, and if they are not told often ‘good job’ they think something is wrong with them. They expect constant feedback on how they are doing.

A word of caution to the millennials. Constant praise is something that Gen X’s and Baby boomers struggle with. The older generations were taught that you do your job and give 100% to the job, without the expectation of praise. If the older generation doesn’t say good job for every task you do, please do not assume that you are not doing well at your job. All of us regardless of our generation can benefit of making it a habit to give words or affirmation more frequently. We all want to feel valued and the simple “Thank you” goes a long way.

Each generation expects to make more money and earn the corner office sooner than their parents did. The younger generations want to somehow fast track success. The Gen X’s were said to have wanted to make more than their fathers and own their own homes in their 30’s that was their measure of success. The Millennials want and even expect the high paying jobs right out of school. They have a mindset that they are too good for the entry level jobs or menial work. Often believing they are worth more than they are paid.

Every person regardless of your industry or job had to start at the bottom working our way up the corporate ladder. Entry level jobs are just as important to the organizations as upper level positions, and millennials need to accept that the way to move up the corporate ladder means that they will need to invest the time in a company over a period of years. Jumping ship because they get bored with the job is not the way to truly succeed.

Early in my career, one my all-time favorite bosses walked into my office on his first day, pulled up a chair and asked to me show him what I did in my day to day duties. He asked questions and even worked on one of my projects. This gave him valuable insight into the day to day operations. It is the front-line entry level positions that have the first interaction with clients and customers, they are the ones who make the first impressions of the company. The job regardless of how menial is of value.

I issue a challenge to everyone regardless of your position at your place of employment. Let’s all make a conscious effort to tell one person a day ‘thank you’. The results will be better morale in the workplace and people at all levels from entry level to upper management will feel valued and appreciated.

By: Cheryl Viola, Executive Director