This wasn’t supposed to be a series. Both the Recruiting Animal and “Ryan” have brought up interesting points that I’d like to comment on. Is it possible that all of this “adjusting” going both ways (to the Millennials and for them to work) is really just workforce entry angst?
Recruiting Animal: If that’s true, it means that all of the media blather about the wonderful Boomers only reflected the feelings and thoughts of a few noisy people in that generation. Which suggests that the same thing is happening now with the Millenials, Gen Y and all the rest.
I mean, why not? If we’re honest with each other (whatever generation we belong to) we’ll readily admit that this was a very hard transition. Think, first day kindergarten, first day of college, first day of work, first day of retirement. These are all transition that take a long time to make, and it actually happens to all of us. Just because millennials are going through it today, does not mean that the root is substantially different than for prior generations. The outward manifestation might appear different in the signs we see and the reactions workforce entrants make, but it’s the same thing.
Colin Kingsbury: Of course, part of growing up is learning to deal with other people, i.e., your boss. Older people who learn how to use IM, SMS, etc. will likely get better results out of the “kids” on their teams. Conversely, the kids who figure out how to work with their old-fashioned bosses will also get better results.
So we go about trying to adapt to each other. I’ve obviously written (in part 1) that we need to address the needs of millennials differently and through different communications. The benefits of baby boomers will not address the needs of the millennials, nor will training and learning programs. Talent management for an early career professional is completely different than for a mature professional.
However, Colin makes a very valid point that millennials need to take a few pointers and learn that they are not the center of the universe and also adapt.