Millennials In The Generational Workplace

In anticipation of a guest post tomorrow from none other than Beatriz Alemar, founder of Breakthru Life and member of this community, I’m going to recap an opinion column in Ad Age Feb. 20, 2012 that inspired my invite to Beatriz to post on the topic of millennials.

I’ve always been fascinated with demographics and their nomenclature. Now, more than ever, I wonder about the corporations seeing the blending of extreme youth with the profession’s elders. Teams are being cast with a a senior mentor and a young professional sharing some ropes, too.

This opinion piece I paraphrase today is from Beth Ann Kaminkow, president and CEO of TracyLocke. I love this first paragraph I’m going to repeat exactly, “We’re seeing a progression in the quality of young professionals. This  isn’t a group ready to stay in the background and learn the way things are done. This is a talent dynamic that I foresee shaping the way we work and interact, and they’ll present challenges.”

Think about your teenagers at home or those in your family. Have you ever seen the devour a device and never look up? How about that texting? The superficial social skills with a blip interaction create horrifying habits for the workplace. Fast forward to the college grads who maintain those habits and also think Facebook is their playground for laughs and giggles.

Does your company need to hire young people from college? There may be a respite as so many more seasoned Americans are out of work, but companies can’t avoid hiring millennials.

Kaminkow suggests the solutions are training that builds habits with a push to dig deeper instead of skim the surface. Teachable moments should be cherished whenever they pop up, too.

In the piece she wrote, Kaminkow gives five tips on how to incorporate millennials  into the workplace:

  • Loyalty is fleeting. Companies need to give these youth a reason to stick around. With digital skills that abound, the “babies of the recession” (as Kaminkow states) want to use those skills.
  • Engagement inside the company and with clients (coming from an agency perspective) are what matter. There are many coaching opportunities to teach hierarchy; something many young people are not glomming on to.
  • Less respect for process. Online research being always available to millennials sets off common systems and processes in the workplace. When a manager “has always done it this way,” and a newbie rolls in and sidesteps the steps…imagine the sparks!
  • Whites of the Eyes. Facebook never meant face time. The in-person meeting is less preferred by youth due to the comfort with texting and social media postings. That has to change as body language, facial expressions, and contextual understanding are critical in business (and especially teams).
  • Coffeehouse. I love this tip Kaminkow provides most of all.  She suggests each company make a coffeehouse area with comfy couches for everyone to get supine and brainstorm. Millennials with their devices gathered up with a Starbucks green tea respond better to this than to sterile cubicles.

In her close, Kaminkow puts the onus on a new style of management and leadership to integrate the generations. She draws a comparison to the blending of new tools as to the blending of new talent “into a thoughtfully reimagined environment.”

12 comments
bdorman264
bdorman264

I think we had some millennials in our garden; I'm not sure if it was hearty enough for the Florida climate so we replaced them w/ ferns..........

 

Very interesting as my company tries to transition to the next generation and our search for young talent that will eventually be my replacement. I have mentored a few and the one trap I do try to avoid is 'this is the way we've always done it around here'. For this fact alone is probably a good reason I decided to get 'all in' with social just to stay relevant. I see so many of my peers that don't want anything to do with it and most of it is because it's an 'unknown' to them. 

 

Just like social can be diverse and ageless; I see the workplace transitioning into that as well. 

Shonali
Shonali

"Whites of the Eyes. Facebook never meant face time. The in-person meeting is less preferred by youth due to the comfort with texting and social media postings. That has to change as body language, facial expressions, and contextual understanding are critical in business (and especially teams)."

This is one of THE most important things for them to learn. #thatisall

Scott Quillin | Web - Video - Original Music!
Scott Quillin | Web - Video - Original Music!

Jayme - I read on your Facebook status that no one commented today? Low and behold, I came over and STILL no comments...FIRST! lol

 

I like this post - especially the "Coffeehouse" idea. I love a creative environment. I think our environment can have a positive or negative impact on our work - more than we realize. I like burning incense and feelin' all "vibe-y" when I'm working. Even if the work is coding, it can still be a wonderful creative experience if my mindset is feeling creative.Funny thing though, since we work from home, we have the comfy couches...maybe it's time for some supine?

 

:-)

 

Rock on, Jayme! 

Neicolec
Neicolec

 @Shonali You know, I'm not entirely sure I agree. Yes, people do need to be comfortable meeting in person and able to read all the cues. However, I find that I am working remotely with most of my clients, now. I may meet them once or twice--or in some cases, I never meet them in person at all. I may not even see them via video. Many of the people I talk with have similar experiences--working with people for months or even years and never meeting them in person. I often only have voice calls and screen sharing, and may not even know what someone looks like. Yet, my projects with these clients are going smoothly.

 

Could it be that face time isn't so important anymore?

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR moderator

 @Shonali I have to agree. I watch my daughter on the iPod Touch. She has no sense of anyone or anything around her. She's 10. I can't imagine when the mobile phone is introduced; but I'm going to be a Nazi Mom about that, too. Limited engagement as long as I can. Social skills first.

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR moderator

 @Scott Quillin | Web - Video - Original Music! Oh, man. You're so RockHot to come by after my whine about no one commenting today! That's so unusual, too! I know peeps are reading cuz they're telling me so on other channels.

 

I was just thinking about you, probably the same time you wrote this...had a question and thought, hmm, is a question free?  Teehee.

 

Thanks, Friend!

Scott Quillin | Web - Video - Original Music!
Scott Quillin | Web - Video - Original Music!

 @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing 

 

Akismet is great at detecting spam (which you already have installed), but if you are getting a lot of spam, then you have to sort through the spam queue in case there are any false positives.

 

Adding a "CAPTCHA" feature (to Akismet) will ask the commenter to complete a simple CAPTCHA. If they fail, then the comment will be automatically discarded or trashed (and won't clutter up your spam queue). If they pass, it will be allowed into the spam queue (or approved, if you so choose).

 

Meanwhile, genuine commenters (i.e., those not flagged by Akismet) will be able to comment on your site hassle-free.

 

There are other methods of blocking comment spammers but the above method might just do the trick for you. If not, then you may need to try some other things to stop them. 

 

Hope this helps!