Those Millennials!

A few days ago I had the opportunity to attend a workshop hosted by the Fogelman College of Business and Economics at the University of Memphis on the topic of “Early Entry Talent Programs: Structure and Legal Considerations For Successful Recruiting and Retention.” The workshop was very interesting and part of the reason for that was that some time was spent describing the traits of the Millennial generation – those born in the years ranging from the early 1980s to the early 2000s. Of course, this is the generation that is coming out of the colleges and beginning their careers.

As the traits of the Millennials were discussed, the point was made that even though the Millennials are very different in the way they view the world and especially the world of work, there was nothing wrong with it – it is just different – very different from us Baby Boomers!millen

Another point more subtly made was that we need to attempt to look at the world through the eyes of the various generations to understand how to more successfully work with them. For example, Boomers have the opinion that the Millennials lack focus and are lazy. In reality, they are excellent multitaskers, something that Boomers have assumed was a lack of focus.

Another criticism of hear Boomers make of Millennials is that they expect to be promoted to management a year after they start working somewhere. This assumption probably comes from the desire that Millennials have to know that there will be an opportunity for them to advance and develop their careers in the company where they choose to work. While Boomers desired the same thing, they weren’t vocal about it and understood it would come if they worked hard. Millennials are vocal and ask for what they want – thus the resulting Boomer interpretation.

Millennials makeup 25% of the workforce and it is growing. It behooves those of us in other generations to understand them and they us.

Actually, being able to see the world from someone’s point of view is what we should try to do all the time. In order to understand others more fully, whether in the workplace or wherever, it is something we all must do. I’m working on that. How about you?