Wendywoman on the Millennial Generation…

Reporter Query:

Looking for experts to advise readers who are in their 40s, 50s and 60s, how to work with those in their 20s. The mixing of the Millennial generation with boomers and Gen X can cause a lot of friction in the workplace, but those in their 20s also have a lot to offer companies; they are energetic, creative, tied into current trends, etc. How can older generations accommodate the irritating traits, in order to take advantage of the positive attributes?

You’re in the middle of a deadline and need an immediate answer, so you call your 20-something colleague sitting a few rows over to ask a question. And the phone rings, and rings, and rings before it rolls to voicemail.  Hi, its Mandy and I’m away from my desk.  Please leave a message at the tone. Only she’s not away from her desk, you can see her sitting there plain as day.  She’s not on the phone, she’s not doing anything.  At least it looks that way!  It’s about that moment when you get the text message.  Saw u called whatcha need?  Whatcha need?  What I need is for her to answer her phone!

Meet the Millennial generation, who will prompt Mr. Webster to write new definition of the term multitasking.  This generation can easily manage to listen to music, work on the computer and watch television at the same time.  And, it can make you crazy.   While they are experts at using technology to communicate, they drew the short stick when it comes to interpersonal skills.  So how do you bridge the gap?  This group is more social conscious than any generation before them.  They want to fix the world; they want to fix the company they work for. Offering them a legitimate opportunity to have their voice heard with no regard to hierarchy can be a win-win for everyone.  Whether a company wide program or just a departmental initiative, try implementing an OFI program with a very important string attached.  Any submissions for the “Opportunity for Improvement” program will be reviewed, decision made, and communicated within 48 hours of receipt.  Once they figure out someone is actually listening to their ideas, implementing them, and they are part of a bigger plan, they’ll be more willing to engage on a personal level