How The Millennial Generation Is Rocking The Workplace
By Lynne C. Lancaster And David Stillman
By now, we’ve all heard the word “millennial” used to describe those in the workforce who were born between 1982 and 2000. You’ve likely read a lot about how distinct this group is, but are they really that different than their coworkers from generation X or the baby boom? The generational experts at BridgeWorks think so. The company’s founders, Lynne Lancaster and David Stillman, authored the book When Generations Collide in 2003, then followed it up with The M-Factor: How The Millennial Generation Is Rocking The Workplace in 2010. Their second book made quite an impression on employers all over the world, and it is a short read that may very well help you to better integrate these young workers into your team.
The M-Factor highlights several characteristics that set millennials apart from older workers. For example, these individuals tend to maintain much stronger relationships with their parents than those generations before them. Dealing with a millennial can sometimes mean dealing with his or her parents as well, either indirectly or – in extreme circumstances – even directly. This is definitely uncharted territory for most employers.
Another distinguishing feature of the latest generation of workers is their desire to do work that has value. Many aspire to change the world, something that their parents and teachers have been encouraging them to do their entire lives. This can lead to frustration when a job seems like nothing more than a task. Millennials expect their careers to be fulfilling.
In addition, the book focuses on the obvious technological aptitude of this new generation of workers. Not only have they grown up with technology as part of their everyday lives, they’ve evolved a unique way of viewing its effects. Millennials are more “connected” than any generation before them, and that comes with both challenges and opportunities.
In fact, “challenges and opportunities” is a good way of looking at millennials as a whole, according to the consultants at BridgeWorks. The M-Factor spells out many ways for employers to make the most of the unique characteristics of millennials. There is a focus on coaching, for example, and how it can help millennials and their coworkers to connect.
Parts of this book may seem like an anthropological study of some new species, but in the end, it becomes clear that millennials are more similar to their coworkers than they are different. We are all people, after all, and this book can help managers to highlight the value that each generation brings to the workforce. Want some powerful advice for getting the different generational parts of your company to fit together into a cohesive unit that makes the most of everyone’s strengths? This quick read is a great place to start.