It’s well known that folks born in economic prosperity of that post-war aftermath are called Baby Boomers. Their children comprise Generation X, born in the 60s and 70s, who grew up in the 80s. I fall bang in the middle of this, loving the fact that I can say I’m a 69er…
New Romantic music like Depeche Mode, Duran Duran and U2 still fill my playlist daily as I drive to graft. I need this to put me a in a better mood whilst I ponder the day’s challenge of herding cats. No, not quite. Managing Millennials isn’t really like this, but certainly feels this way to most “ballies”!
Don’t give up hope, you just need to know WHY they are the way they are….and gurus like Simon Sinek have it pretty much taped that WE are to blame for creating Frankenstein! WHAT? SHOCK! HORROR!
This part certainly resonates the most with me…“failed parenting strategies” he calls it. I agree – we WERE told we were special – like Pinocchio? A real boy?
The age of the 80s and 90s meant we were inundated with business books like Tom Peters and positive thinking YES!YES!YES! speakers. Just because you want it, means you must go and get it. Did you necessarily deserve it is beside the point….
We in turn have told our children that everyone like would be getting something under our chair ala Oprah…everyone is equally special and clearly deserving. Just believe in the Secret, put it “out there” and the universe will automatically deliver you genie-like wishes. LOL if only it was so simple.
So what do we as employers do?
#1. Manage their expectations. They WON’T change the world in three months, feel enlightened or get promoted by just showing up.
#2. Seek prospective employees who have the grit and old fashioned “no quit” gumshen!
#3. Do give them “likes” and encouragement. “Old men die for it and babies cry for it” hasn’t changed across the generations even though Instagram seems to define how much they feel they are valued in society.
#4. Definitely try to adopt a more flexible working environment if you business allows for it. These precious creatures love flexibility and probably value this above commissions and other long term perks like medical aid.
#5. Do embrace their difference and dependence on social media, gadgets and travel experiences they crave. The longer you try and force feed traditional carrot and stick methodologies the more frustrated you as cat-herder will feel!
If you LISTEN and are prepared to ADAPT, you make this work in a country where there is an abundance of unemployed (not unemployable!) youth.