Hattie Hynes is a Recruiting/HR Marketing Intern with Milliner & Associates. She will graduate from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business in 2019.
Through my internship with Milliner & Associates, I have access to many resources through the American Staffing Association (ASA), one of which are webinars on their web site. These webinars are conducted by professionals around the nation who are experts on what they teach. From marketing and social media to employment law and employee engagement, these webinars offer a variety of content with wonderful advice for businesses and people alike.
This week, I had the opportunity to watch a webinar conducted by Jamie Notter, founding partner of Culture That Works, LLC., entitled “The Power of Millennial Alignment: Understanding the Future of Employee Engagement.” Notter had a lot to say about shifting the older generations’ views of Millennials from an attitude of complaining to an attitude of learning, but I think that everyone can learn a lesson from what he had to say.
As someone on the very tail-end of the Millennial generation and still trying to figure out what exactly that means to me, it was interesting to hear about the complaints that others have about my generation.
“They don’t work hard enough!”
“Millennials have no respect for hierarchy.”
“They don’t understand that we have a budget.”
I don’t know a world without Google. Information is right at my fingertips whenever I need it. Not to mention the social internet, where I can learn so much about people before I even have a conversation with them or meet them. Information and resources have always been easily accessible to me, so not only is the abundance of resources present, it’s expected. That’s where the root of not understanding the budget comes from. We ask for more resources, because it’s what we have grown up with. It’s how we were trained to think.
Millennials also grew up in a world where children were treated as adults, and were shown that they were valued no matter what. A world where adults come down to children’s levels to talk with them. Thus, loosening the barrier between what was traditionally considered superior and subordinate. The “everyone gets a trophy” phenomenon that’s been getting a lot of focus lately has created a generation that feels they are worthy of their superior’s time, if they even see them as superior at all. When adults come down to kids’ levels to talk with them, they eliminated the fear between subordinate and superior which transfers into the workplace. Millennials feel they can stop the CEO as they pass by each other in the office. Again, it’s how we were trained to think.
The next time you complain about a different generation, whether it is Millennials, Baby Boomers, or Gen Z, remember that they didn’t grow up in the same world that you did. In fact, you may have contributed to their overall approach towards life. Whether you’re a Millennial, X’er, or Baby Boomer, I hope that you’ve come to understand the Millennial workforce a little more and have gained more perceptive of the people around you.