08: Millennials: A Primer

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What you’ll hear in this podcast:

  • How different the work environment is now, working for one company your entire career and collecting a juicy pension is a thing of the past
  • Generalizations (boxes, labels, qualifiers, quantifiers) are a starting point, not a way to define a ‘people’
  • You should take ‘Verbal Processers’ words in context
  • Initiative’s (Meyers Briggs type) often feel the emotions around a topic
  • Labels, tests & generalizations should be used to inform you, not to box another
  • Millennials have many strengths, some of which are;
    • They are passionate about making a difference, about mattering and making a change to the status quo
    • Their ego and sense of ‘self’ is strong
    • The level of support and encouragement they have had is more than the generations that came before
    • They believe in “Show me, don’t tell me.” They want tangibles.
    • Titles, station and labels are not something that they value
    • They are unimpressed, in general, by degrees, or position
    • Minimizing social qualifiers (such as gay/straight, black/white etc) are rejected by this generation
    • They are leading the way in ‘Minimalism’ Less is more and they do not need many material items. (some would argue that they can’t afford them, they are the most ‘in debt’ generation to come out of University into a stale job market)
    • Experiences, more so than things, are sought by them
    • They have an incredible ability to task-shift in a short amount of time, with less attention-residue carried forward
  • Knowing the strengths & weaknesses of an employee (such as the millennials) will help guide you to get the most out of your working relationship, and mutually benefit each other.
  • Some of the shortcomings, or weaknesses that Millennials have are;
    • Their need to make an impact cannot be fulfilled quickly or with all tasks, there are some more mundane tasks that need to be accomplished.
  • It helps to show them the impact of the more mundane on the overall health of the business or in building strong relationships with clients, or as a team, help them see the big picture
    • They have a strong sense of self and an overinflated perception of their skills and abilities, and need a lot of strokes along the way
  • Encouragement, praise and guidance goes a long way in keeping them motivated. Strong clear expectations, and frequent check ins on their work product will benefit you both.
    • They generally do not respect titles, such as CEO, or VP nor length of time in a position
  • A clear structure and hierarchy, should be well established. The skills and abilities, strengths and benefits to the team, that each member brings, should be clear along with your expectations
    • They want time to work on what’s important to them, and have some ownership on their work
  • Giving them time to work on their own projects, if possible, with the guidance or input from experts in the office will keep them motivated and invested and you could own a % of that product. This is where Gmail came from, it was a side project of a Google employee, that he worked on during this flex time and it worked out for both Google, and the employee
  • As a boss, creating a team environment with team building non-work hours or retreats along with clear expectation, boundaries, and structure help to avoid conflict. When conflict or strife does show up, it should be addressed in a swift, clear respectful way
  • 1 in 3 American workers are Millennials, and this year they surpassed Generation-X to become the largest share of the American workforce (according to the Pew Resource Center)
  • These employees are here to stay


Episode 06


“Millennials are like Gluten, everyone has an opinion about them”

“Every generation stands on the shoulders of those that came before them”

“Why would I pine away for the past when I can enjoy every moment from here on out”

Show Intro music is Whispering Through by Asura


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