Managing the Next GenerationAt Work
Who are These Kids, Anyway?They dont show up. They dont know how to work.They want to start at the top.They arent loyal.They question everything.They have the attention span of a gnat.They think they are entitled to everything.
Generation:A body of individuals born in approximately the same time period who generally share similar behaviors and attitudes.
Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict their parents, chatter before company; gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers.
The Four GenerationsTraditionalists/Veterans (Born 1922-1945)Baby Boomers (Born 1946-1964)Generation X (Born 1965-1982)Millennials/Generation Y (Born 1983-2000)
How the Generations Differ Social, Political, and Economic InfluencesFamilial Structure and InfluenceEducationValuesWork Ethic
Understanding these differencesis the key to managing them.
Influences: Social, Political & EconomicGreat depressionWorld War IINew DealG.I. BillKorean WarCold War
Familial Structure & InfluenceTraditionalists grew up in nuclear families consisting of two parents and children.Fathers typically worked while mothers stayed home.As a result, traditionalists tend to be conservative, rule-abiding, and appreciative of authority.
EducationFor most Traditionalists, higher education was not possible.They valued hard work, and their focus was on scraping by financially.For many, religious education was just as important as formal (school) education.
Baby BoomersBorn 1946-1964
Influences: Social, Political & EconomicCivil Rights EraEqual Rights EraRise of the SuburbsTelevisionSex, Drugs, and Rock & RollSpace ExplorationJFKWatergateVietnam War
Familial Structure & InfluenceLike Traditionalists, Baby Boomers grew up in relatively traditional, nuclear families.However, because of their optimism and the Civil Rights Era, Baby Boomers are more open to change.
EducationEducation became much more of a common aspiration among Baby Boomers.Most Baby Boomers completed high school and over a fourth of Baby Boomers have a Bachelors Degree or higher.
Generation XBorn 1965-1982
Influences: Social, Political & EconomicFall of Berlin WallOperation Desert StormEnergy CrisisMTV and Rock/Punk/Grunge MusicChallenger Space DisasterAIDS epidemicRodney King Affair
Familial Structure & InfluenceGeneration Xers are also known as latchkey kids, who grew up during a dramatic increase in two-income households. They often came home to empty houses.As a result, Generation Xers are more self-reliant, although they tend to question authority.
EducationGeneration Xers were the best educated generation before Generation Y (Millennials).They were better educated than both Traditionalists and Baby Boomers.Many view college as a means to an end, the end being a solid career path.
Also Known As:Echo Boomersnamed for many being the children of Baby Boomers.Generation Menamed for being more confident but also more self-absorbed and demanding.Internet Generationnamed for being the first generation to grow up with widespread use of the internet.
Influences: Social, Political & EconomicRap and Hip Hop MusicOklahoma City BombingLewinsky ScandalColumbine and Other School ShootingsDot Com CrashReligious ScandalsEnron and Corporate ScandalsWar in IraqProliferation of Communications and Mobile Technology9/11
Familial Structure & InfluenceMillennials have grown up in non-traditional families with a record number of divorces.1 in 4 lives in a single-parent household.For many Millennials, both mothers and fathers work and take part in child-rearing.3 in 4 have working mothers.
Familial Structure & InfluenceMillennials families are more child-centered, with parents involving themselves in their childrens activities and education.Millennials have a strong sense of their own self worth, are ambitious, and believe they can achieve anything.Only 26% marry by age 32 vs 65% of Veteran generation.
EducationMillennials are the most educated generation yet. More than a third have advanced degrees.They spend much more time on homework than previous generations. They value college education despite expensive tuition costs.
ValuesMillennials are the least religious of the four generations. (58% vs 74%)Millennials are the most politically independent (50% vs 32%) and see fewer differences between the two major parties.However, they tend to be more liberal than their predecessors.
ValuesMillennials are the most racially diverse of the four generations. (43% non-white, half of newborns are non white)Millennials are the least trusting generation. Only 19% believe you can trust most people compared to 40% of boomers.They are the most optimistic generation in terms of their financial future (85% vs 56% for veterans).
Work EthicValue challenging, variable, meaningful work.Work is a venue for involvement and achievement.Work is important but so is personal life.
Preferred Leadership ApproachRespect authority and rules similar to Traditionalists.Value a relationship with the immediate boss.Respond best to an informal, engaging, and fun approach.
Communication StyleLike informal communication that feels positive and personalized to them.Value patience and clarification.Prefer electronic communication over meetings.
Interaction with OthersMillennials have a collaborative spirit and are good team players.They value social networking.Millennials are also respectful of the experience of others.Millennials may be perceived as having poor communication skills, being rude, or feeling entitled due to their self-confidence and willingness to ask for what they want.
Approach to FeedbackMillennials like to be given feedback for something immediately after they do it.They are a generation known for wanting instant feedback and praise.This isnt just an egocentric thing Millennials are eager to please and looking to be coached.
View toward the EmployerMillennials view toward employers are dependent on their specific work experiences.They have high expectations for their boss and their work experience.Unmet expectations drive them to leave.
Work vs. Personal LifeCareers must leave room for personal lives.Seek flexible scheduling and part-time or temporary leave options.
What they WantMillennials prefer to receive immediate rewards for their achievements.Like Generation Xers, they want more challenges and opportunities to develop their skills.
Financial BehaviorsMillennials have already won a reputation for being financially savvy.Though they are willing spenders, they are concerned about adequate saving and financial security.They care about job benefits, including retirement benefits.
Relationship with TechnologyMillennials are the first generation native to digital technology. They have been using it from childhood.They are very comfortable with technology, and they excel at its use.They prefer to have up-to-date or cutting edge technology in the workplace.
ExpectationsInstant feedback/gratification, praiseHave fun at workWork on a variety of tasksMentorshipTraining and opportunities for professional growthFlexible schedules
Pros and Cons
Millennials Pros/ConsProsdrivencan multi-task welltechnologically savvyquick learnersflexiblerespectful of rules, authority, and elders Conswant instant gratification/praisehave high expectations for managementneed guidance lose interest if they dont perceive work to be meaningfulneed to have funcan appear self-absorbed
Motivating MillennialsEncourage through positive feedback.Make work entertaining.Inspire them to work toward a vision or cause.Offer additional training opportunities.Support creativity and diversity.Take their ideas into serious consideration despite their youth.
Implications for ManagementBe a mentor:Millennials place great importance on their relationship with their immediate boss. They see their boss as a resource for learning, training, and growth opportunities. They also may see their boss as a big reason to leave a job.
Implications for ManagementBe a mentor:They also value frequent communication with their boss, which includes feedback. They expect their boss to be directly involved in overseeing their career development.
Implications for ManagementStructure work: Give them numerous tasks with deadlines, a clearly defined schedule, and measurable goals. Inform them of the steps involved in a project, and allow them to complete it in pieces.
Implications for ManagementChallenge them:Put Millennials on the fast-track to increased responsibility. As soon as they enter the workplace, they are looking to move forward and upward within the company. They want to prove their