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Three ways to impress your Millennial boss

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At the AARP Bulletin, Mary W. Quigley featured some of my comments in a recent article. Here’s an excerpt:

Flip flops are coming to the workplace whether we like it or not! So predicts Haydn Shaw, author of Sticking Points, a book about the generational clash in the workplace. We might say, flip flops … no way with my ugly feet! But the reality is that millennials, all 92 million of them vs. 78 million boomers, are rapidly infiltrating the workplace. Not only that, they are increasingly becoming our bosses….

Just as we can rattle on about self-involved and entitled millennials, they complain about technophobic, arrogant older workers. Stereotypes aside, with four generations (seniors, boomers, gen x and millennials) in the workplace cultures will clash. Shaw, 51, lists 12 sticking points of friction among generations: communication, decision-making, dress code, feedback, fun at work, knowledge transfer, loyalty, meetings, policies, respect, training and work ethic.

In an effort to work better with millennial bosses, I asked him to pinpoint three keys areas where older workers can learn to be more flexible….

Read entire article here.

[Graphic via thindifference.com]

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Three simple ways to give Millennials the feedback they want

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Here’s an excerpt from my latest column in the Huffington Post:

“Is feedback really as important to Millennials as we’ve heard?” The accounting senior manager asked me in a workshop I was giving on best work practices for each generation.

Yes, I told them. Millennials’ expectations are different from the older generations’. Millennials grew up with highly involved parents coaching them, instant access online to grades, and thousands of texts with their friends. Mentoring programs are one of the top two soft benefits Millennials look for at an organization. Less than one in ten Millennials think weekly communication is enough. In fact, 35 percent want it multiple times a day, while 25 percent think once a day is fine.

“Especially if you’re a Boomer, take the amount of feedback you would want, and then double it. Then double it again, and you’ll meet the Millennials halfway,” I said.

The group erupted in an audible moan. One manager said what the others were clearly thinking: “I’m already working way too much. How am I going to find the time to give Millennials all the feedback they want?”

One of the biggest challenges to feedback is that we’re making it too difficult. You can give more feedback without adding another two hours to your day….

Read my entire column here.

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Why Millennials’ parents will stay involved – and why that’s good

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Here’s an excerpt from my latest column in the Huffington Post:

In the workshops I teach on generational differences, nothing stirs up more disdain than helicopter parents. We have all seen those parents who constantly hover over their child and then jump to rescue them when a soccer coach doesn’t play them enough or a teacher gives their report a “C” grade. We can tell which science fair projects the parents did for their kids. And don’t get me started on how difficult it is to explain to your Cub Scout why they have to build their Pine Wood Derby car even if they lose against laser cut, professionally-painted versions done by a dad.

Helicopter parents don’t stop when their Millennial child gets a job…. I’m not a fan of helicopter parents, but… the new normal that I tell my clients they need to get used to [is] the involved or “engaged” parent….

There’s a big difference between helicopter parents or what my clients sometimes call “overly involved” parents, and the typical involved parents….

[T]o the generations who couldn’t ask their parents for guidance, Millennials seem coddled by today’s parents who talk to them about everything. But most are not coddled, they are coached. Coached by Baby Boomers and Gen Xers who have the relevant experience to help them avoid unnecessary mistakes or hassles. We can deal with generational differences more effectively if we understand that Millennials are the product of the most educated parents in history….

Read my entire column here.

[Photo via surefoodsliving.com]

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