Brutal Fact

Today’s generation gap is costing you time, energy, and thousands of dollars that you could put to better use. Your business is at risk when you’re not leveraging the strengths of all generations. Period.

 

Like it or not — Millennials have overtaken Baby Boomers in the workforce. This is amplifying the pesky people problems that already exist and is putting successful businesses at risk. And, with Gen Z now entering the workplace the generation gap is widening. Millennials and Gen Z now account for 40% of the workforce and climbing. Time for a shift in understanding what has influenced each generation’s needs and expectations and how we can best leverage each generation’s strengths.


Reality Check — Millennials are just like AND totally unlike every other generation. Let’s face it, historically, the older generation tends to characterize the younger generation as lazy, self-absorbed and entitled. The younger generation gets exasperated with their older, workaholic colleagues who seem unhappy in their jobs and frustratingly stuck in their ways. The reality is we all want the same things — to be respected and valued for our contributions. Once we understand the world each generation grew up in, it’s easier to make sense of each generation's workplace needs and expectations, and closing the gap becomes much easier than you might think.

 

We’ve been telling our young people
that anything’s possible, to dream big
and be the generation that effects real change.
Perhaps it’s time we take our own medicine!


— Kat

The needs and expectations of Millennials require a shift in leadership

Millennials are leading the charge to break down traditional organizational structure and have pushed companies to rethink their work environments. Gallups’ in-depth study, How Millennials Want to Work and Live (2016) identified six functional changes needed to attract and retain Millennials:

•   Millennials don’t just work for a paycheck — they want a purpose

•   Millennials are not pursuing job satisfaction — they are pursuing development

•   Millennials don’t want bosses — they want coaches

•   Millennials don’t want annual reviews — they want ongoing conversations

•   Millennials don’t want to fix their weaknesses — they want to develop their strengths

•   Millennials say, “It’s not just my job — it’s my life.”

 

The Gallup study also revealed the Top 5 things Millennials are looking for when applying for jobs:

•   Opportunities to learn and grow

•   Quality of manager

•   Quality of management

•   Interest in type of work

•   Opportunities for advancement

 

This is a real wake-up call if you want to attract and retain top talent!

 

What’s RIGHT with all of this? Given that Millennials comprise over 35% of the workforce, these needs and expectations can’t be ignored. If you’re thinking, that sounds really great, BUT . . . you’re wondering what the bleep you need to do to accomplish that OR you’re still not sure why that’s really necessary OR you get it, but it seems daunting, no worries. We are here to help with that and more.

 

To attract and retain top talent these days
requires that you think of your company
as a training and development organization
that just happens to be in the business of...
(insert the nature of your business).

— Kat

 

Oops... Another Reality Check — What if the issue isn’t Millennials?

The Harvard Business Review’s article on generational issues (April 7, 2016) points out that Millennials want the same things the rest of us do. They reveal that a growing body of evidence suggests that employees of all ages are much more alike than different in their attitudes and values at work. To the extent that any gaps do exist, they amount to small differences that have always existed between younger and older workers throughout history and have little to do with the Millennial generation per se.

 

So where does the Generation Gap fit in? On the one hand, we believe that it’s more about the pesky people problems that have always plagued businesses. On the other hand, we recognize that these problems are amplified and made more complex by generational distinctions. These differences relate to the distinctly different world each generation grew up in and how that influences their needs and expectations. Without understanding these generational distinctions, efforts to resolve these issues will have limited impact and results are unlikely to be sustainable.

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