It’s not surprising if managing people of any age or generation significantly older than you is uncomfortable on both sides. Nevertheless all ages need to find ways to thrive within this context as it becomes more prevalent with three to five generations in the workplace.
The formative influences on an individual or a segment of the population that may lead to significant patterns of behavior are fascinating to contemplate for their wider implications. A Wall Street Journal article by Lisa Ward with the provocative title “How to Create a Narcissist,” reports research findings on the influence on personal traits and attitudes, satisfaction with work and the amount of top management pay when coming of age in a weak or strong economy.
Despite some of the media hype, about the divide between Millennials and their older colleagues at work, forging common ground is not a hopeless task or an expensive one. It does require willingness of both parties to address perceptions and stereotypes and engage in open conversation. I offer some advice for both Gen Y/Millennials and their managers.
The message from the professionals to young workers and students continues to be work hard, persevere, reach out, and you do have to “pay your dues.”
At the Conversations in Journalism conference recently at Columbia University, two panels were particularly relevant for cross-generational perspectives, and the views are applicable way beyond the media industries.
Gen Y/Millennials are showing their adaptability as they sour on sexy startups and all they connote in favor of more stable and secure older, larger tech companies after seeing share prices plunge on some big names. At the same time big banks are competing for talent by offering Silicon Valley-type perks. Here are some details and takeaways.
The obstacles to productivity can be formidable. Mostly what I see and hear discussed are the more technical and logistical aspects. Yet in a company or other enterprise context, the interpersonal obstacles are the greatest. Here are the top 5 interpersonal obstacles and how to start to address them.
The missing skills employers are asking for are the long valued abilities of written and oral communication, adaptability, managing multiple priorities, making decisions and problem-solving. And you can’t google (online search) to acquire those skills!