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The biggest cause of generational tensions over work ethic

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The regional manager – who we had lovingly nicknamed “Whiskey Breath” – was coming the next day to inspect the fast food restaurant where I worked in high school. So the assistant manager asked me if I would be willing to stay late to get the place scrubbed to perfection. I needed the money for college, so we worked until 2:00 am. The place sparkled but I was dead tired.  I was looking forward to sleeping until 11:00, since I didn’t have to be at work the next day until 4:00.

Imagine my shock when my Traditionalist father (who had been raised on a farm) woke me up at 8:30 the next morning. Convinced something was wrong, I jumped out of bed and asked my dad what he needed. He replied that there was nothing pressing… it was just time to get up! He didn’t see any use staying in bed once it was daylight.

He also mentioned that he’d been up for three hours already….

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When should I fire a Millennial who’s not working out?

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I get asked regularly, “When should I fire a Millennial?” and “When are the performance issues really MY fault?” My book, Sticking Points, provides over 100 ideas for making your workplace more attractive to Millennials. I usually caution managers to give employees the benefit of the doubt and to try some of the 100 ideas before they start canning people. But you know as well as I do – you can only do so much with some people.

It’s simple: if an employee’s underperformance is bothering you, it’s bothering other Millennials on the team. Just like the employees of any generation, Millennials are looking to you to provide leadership and to hold people to consistent and fair standards. I saw an example of this in my own home last summer.

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Surprising facts about the 12 generational sticking points

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People often ask me for a list of the most common generational sticking points. So today, I’m going one better. Here are the 12 most common by the numbers, along with some surprising and critical facts, courtesy of my book, Sticking Points:

  1. Communication

    McCann Worldgroup discovered that half of Millennials would give up their sense of smell to keep their computers or mobile phones.

    50% of Boomers have slept with their cell phones.

  2. Decision Making

    76% of Millennials believe “my boss could learn a lot from me.”

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