Boomers vs. Millennials

Did you know: 75% of the workforce will be made up of millennials by the year 2025? That statistic is shocking, yet inspiring (…for some of us…).

I recently spoke with someone who attended a conference and was explaining the importance of knowing your audience. Since it was a leadership conference, the speaker was in a room jammed packed with the baby-boomer generation; yet, she was going on and on about how millennials are rising to the top. Since the audience was 0% millennials, they weren’t too thrilled, or comfortable, with the message. But — she wasn’t saying this because she didn’t know her audience, she was saying it because she did. She wants to help the Boomer Generation understand that corporate culture may be changing, and that they need to learn to be more accepting of change to allow the diversity that millennials bring to the table to develop.

Millennials are just the ones beginning our careers; while baby-boomers own businesses, created mega-companies and for the most part, are our bosses. But, there are a lot of us (because there are a LOT of baby boomers, who had us as their babies), and we’re coming in HOT. So why is it that millennials are starting to irritate boomers at work?

We are so different, and because there are so many of us, things are a-changin’. Here are some Generational differences, found through research by West Midland Family Center, in Shepherd, MI.

Millennials:

Want Boomers to: Understand that we don’t like to do things “the way it’s always been done,” know the purpose and bigger picture of our work, let us live (sometimes we like to stay up late working, other times we want to be in the office at 7am – either way, we’ll get the job done).

Assets: Good at research and metrics, technologically savvy, positive attitude, ability to multitask, gets things done quickly, consumer mentality, goal oriented

Liabilities: Extremely impatient, doesn’t act well to those who act in an authoritarian manner (want mentors, not managers), lack of experience yet high expectations, distaste for tedious work

Work ethic: Gets things done quickly, multitasks, constantly looks at “what’s next?”

Value: Individuality

What they look for in a job: Expect to be paid well, fulfillment, flexible work arrangements, a challenge, a company with strong, ethical leaders

Baby Boomers:

Want Millennials to: Stop sending smilies in emails, answer the phone when they call & stop sending messages one minute after they call asking what’s up.

Assets: Works hard, wants to please, good team players, will go above & beyond, good at seeing the big picture, mission oriented

Liabilities: Doesn’t like change, judgmental if disagree, expects everyone to be workaholics, peer-loyalty

Work ethic: driven, work long hours

Value: Success

What they look for in a job: ability to shine, make a contribution, fit in with company’s mission, team approach

Let’s all get along! The differences of the habits, characteristics, and strengths between both Generations actually make for a great team.

Cheers!

One thought on “Boomers vs. Millennials

  1. This needs to be sent to every baby-boomer company owner, vice president, CEO, manager, supervisor in the United States of America.

    Like

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