11 Feb “Why Are Millennials So Lazy?” “Why Are Boomers So Out of Touch?” : Thoughts on Generational Differences in the Office
Talk about boomers and millennials is ubiquitous these days – as are assumptions made about both parties. Millennials – with their focus on work/life balance, personal fulfillment, and flexible scheduling – are dismissed as lazy or lacking dedication. Boomers – with their focus on systems and their eye frequently on retirement – are equally dismissed for being out of touch or outdated.
We know these are common conversations for HR directors and research shows us that it’s only getting harder as newer generations enter the workforce. In your head you might be thinking, “You’re both wrong and right at the same time!” But how do you get the two parties to start a hard but healing conversation?
We recommend a structured meeting, with conversational ground rules, about the strengths and challenges of each generation – Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, Gen Z, and everyone in between. A great conversation starter in that meeting would be “What was the most significant technological change from your childhood?” This question will help each person share a significant part of their upbringing, one that shapes their perspective on workplace etiquette. You can then lead the conversation into a discussion of generational strengths to help the healing begin.
Over the next five weeks, we’ll be exploring other resources to help navigate generational differences in the workplace – because the whole Millennial vs. Boomer myth isn’t just damaging, it’s lazy. The average American workplace currently has four generations in it and we’ll help you manage each.