Posted January 7, 2020 by Mark Perna
Are younger generations a challenge to overcome—or a powerful asset to unleash? Perspective is everything. Mark’s article, “There Are Only 2 Ways To View Millennials And Gen Z,” published at Forbes.com on October 29, 2019.
Today’s younger generations get a lot of bad press. In general, Millennials and Generation-Z are painted as entitled, self-focused, unmotivated, and all-around disappointing. This unflattering image has reached into the realm of employment, where managers bemoan the lackluster performance of what is now the largest generational cohort in the American workforce.
Due to differing worldviews, values, and work strategies, older-gen managers often find themselves viewing their younger workers as challenges to be solved. The idea that these same workers may, in actuality, be a tremendous asset to be unleashed hasn’t even crossed their minds.
However, the negative stereotypes surrounding today’s young people are far from the whole story. The Why Generation—comprised of Millennials and Gen-Z due to their inquisitive nature—is bursting with untapped promise. They’re smart, talented, and utterly tenacious in pursuing goals that they find personally compelling. They are the workforce of the future.
Speaking as a Baby Boomer, I can confidently state that my Millennial employees are among the company’s most valuable assets. They’re innovative, they’re naturally conversant in technological solutions, and they’re always eager to upgrade their skills. But I didn’t always think so. Here are three strategies I’ve used to transform my own mindset about what younger employees can achieve.
The biggest challenge in navigating the new multigenerational workforce is not younger workers. Rather, it’s overcoming the negative perspective that can stifle these employees’ creativity and potential. Though the ultimate cost is hard to quantify, morale, productivity, and retention can all suffer when a cohort of workers is consistently seen as a problem rather than a promise.
So what’s your perspective on Millennials and Gen-Z? A challenge to overcome—or a tremendous asset to unleash?Are Millennials and Gen-Z a challenge to overcome—or a tremendous asset to unleash? Click To Tweet