Focus on The Value
Each generation brings its own value to the workplace. A generation is a group of people defined by age boundaries. They shared similar experiences growing up and have tendencies that strongly influence their work related values. Based upon my research in discussions of generational diversity, I have found that in many cases one generation will more closely identify with a previous or next generation more closely than their own. This is why when discussing the generational workplace there is not much mention of generation X. Their age bracket is 22-42 but the older ones identify with boomers and the younger ones identify primarily with millennials. This emphasizes what a tremendous impact boomers and millennials have had on the workplace environment. As depicted by the two clocks, we seem to look at time from two different perspectives. Just like millennials it never stops and is always moving forward, whether you choose to track it or not.
Learn Not Only To Listen, But Also Ask Questions.
Millennials detest micromanaging and this is one of the biggest factors for pushing millennials to seek alternatives for employment. Believe it or not boomers; they prefer to learn the hard way, through trial and error, as opposed to rules and guidelines that stifle motivation. I am a boomer and we called it “brute strength and awkwardness” as we struggled to achieve our objectives.
One element that applied to our generation will have intrinsic value for millennials as well. The best way to pass along tacit knowledge is by asking and answering questions. One of the biggest problems faced by managers in dealing with millennials is not gauging how much their staff knows, but how much they understand that in which they perceive to know.
Look, marvel at how they go about getting the job done. Listen when they ask for guidance and direction, encourage them to optimize their skills. Learn how they get the job done on their terms and give them the creative space to do it. In the end you will be glad you did. Oh yeah and don’t forget to give them a “high five” when they have done well!