Millennials: Problems or Prodigies?

Contributed by:

Robin Robinson

NOTE: The content below contains the first few paragraphs of the printed article and the titles of the sidebars and boxes, if applicable.

Our experts say, however, this is a generation worth catering to, because if they are happy, they will most certainly succeed. Getting all four generations to work together effectively is challenging because the generations have difficulty relating to one another as they interact in the workplace. As a result, team leaders must first understand each of these groups in order to lead them effectively. Today’s work force needs to be given the tools to adequately learn and understand the characteristics of all the generations, or no one will be happy. And the millennials, the employment wave of the future, will leave to find a work place that more suits their style. The thought leaders who participated in this forum have expertise in generational research or experience in hiring and integrating millennials into their… Sidebars: The Four Generations Defined Preparing Your Corporation for ­Millennials Five Tips to Leading Across ­Generations Sound bites From the Field Alan Edwards is Senior ­Director, ­Americas Product Group, Scientific Kelly ­Services Inc., a global provider of work force solutions. For more information, visit Ruth Frazer is President of Pharma-Cruiting, an ­executive search firm specializing in the ­recruitment of executives within the ­life-sciences industries. For more ­information, visit Dr. Jan Ferri-Reed is President of KEYGroup, an international speaking, training, and assessment firm. For more information, visit or e-mail Millennials and IT in the Workplace Defining a Generation: Millennial Traits Helping Millennials Communicate More Effectively Featured Thought Leaders Tim Cook. VP, Oncology U.S. and Canada Business Unit Leader, Eli Lilly and Company, dedicated to delivering innovative ­solutions that improve the care of people living with cancer. For more information, visit Joseph DiMisa. Senior VP, ­Sibson Consulting, a division of Segal, which provides strategic human resources solutions to corporate and nonprofit employers. For more information, visit Kim Huggins. President, K HR Solutions LLC, a human resources consulting firm that helps transform individuals and corporate groups into effective leaders and results-oriented teams. For more ­information, visit Kathy Marsico. Senior VP, Human Resources, PDI Inc., a provider of integrated multichannel promotional outsourced ­services for established and emerging healthcare companies. For more information, visit Haydn Shaw. Senior consultant, ­FranklinCovey, a consulting firm that ­facilitates transformational leadership in people and organizations around the globe through training, executive coaching, and ­principle-based programs. For more information, visit Nagaraja Srivatsan. Senior VP and Head of Life Sciences, North America, ­Cognizant, which offers information ­technology, consulting, and business ­process outsourcing services. For more information, visit Gen Yers entering the work force will bring disruptive change to the current work culture, as well as a high level of success. he next generation to hit the work force will be among some of the best and brightest employees to come along — so what’s all the fuss about? Millennials, sometimes called the trophy generation, have a radically different view on what they expect from the work environment from the last three generations, and this expectation can cause friction on all sides. Our experts say, however, this is a generation worth catering to, because if they are happy, they will most certainly succeed. Getting all four generations to work together effectively is challenging because the generations have difficulty relating to one another as they interact in the workplace. As a result, team leaders must first understand each of these groups in order to lead them effectively. Today’s work force needs to be given the tools to adequately learn and understand the characteristics of all the generations, or no one will be happy. And the millennials, the employment wave of the future, will leave to find a work place that more suits their style. The thought leaders who participated in this forum have expertise in generational research or experience in hiring and integrating millennials into their corporate culture. Can’t We All Just Get Along? Nagaraja Srivatsan. Cognizant. For a company to attract and retain millennials, it first must be prepared to adjust its culture and its communication policies, starting with top management. Traditional company cultures have to evolve to become more open, collaborative, and transparent, and communication infrastructures need to change. Getting everyone together in open sessions, discussing how team members will communicate with each other, and learning the working and communication styles of each generation can make the workplace more satisfying for everyone, not just millennials. Joseph DiMisa. Sibson Consulting. An organization with long-term hiring goals and employee population goals should be anticipating its needs now and figuring out where it will find all those folks it needs to do business in the future. Organizations that expect to experience growth in the near future are focusing on hiring millennials — and making them happy within the workplace — as are organizations that have a solid understanding of what the demographics of their organization should look like five to 10 years out. In addition, human resources firms should be putting together programs that ensure the work force pipeline stays full and that will require sensitivity to workers’ needs, desires, beliefs, and cultures. High-tech companies and wireless companies are doing a good job at creating a stimulating environment for millennials, and some life-sciences companies are starting to do a good job as well. Kim Huggins. K HR Solutions. There needs to be an understanding and appreciation of both the differences between the generations and the strengths each brings to the table. This means that all four of the generations need to be flexible and embrace change. In many cases, this requires a true shift in company culture because many of the policies and practices that exist today were established by the traditionalist and baby boomer generations. tim cook. lilly. About three years ago, I noticed a convergence of opposing forces happening on my teams. On one hand, the industry was at a point in time that it clearly had to transform how it did business and needed to move away from a very product-centric model to a new model that was very customer-centric, all within many competing forces. I knew we were headed into a time of great turbulence and at the same time, I noticed among my employees — across all generations — an overall unwillingness to change. They were all just digging in their heels and they all thought their way was the right way. I could tell that we weren’t really talking to one another and I knew that with the significant changes ahead, if people were close-minded, this was going to become a problem. I wanted to try to help them understand one another before it got out of hand, so we brought in help from the outside to confront us with our own stereotypes that we held about one another and to help us understand our own generational behavior, and it really worked. We began to break down those stereotypes. Haydn Shaw. FranklinCovey. We have found 11 key points of friction where generations bump into each other. The biggest sticking point is respect. All generations want to be respected, but they all define this differently, which creates friction. For example, for traditionals, respect is deserved when someone is in a high position and has been there a long time. Baby boomers believe people have to pay their dues before being invited to the table. Millennials, on the other hand, believe that everyone deserves respect and to be heard, no matter their experience. Millennials do not want to be dismissed or not valued for having an opinion. They say, ‘Let me come to the table with my ideas.’ So it is a huge point of friction when millennials expect to be accepted at the table right now. Other trouble spots include differing definitions on work ethic and different styles of communication and decision-making, dress code, training, and feedback. Kathy Marsico. PDI. Honestly, diversity is a beautiful thing; it always has been and always will be. Understanding motivation and playing to people’s strengths is a keystone in successful talent management. Every generation of worker seems to get ‘tagged’ with some label and some set of associated myths. Employers need to beware of too many stereotypes. This being said, companies also need to recognize the differences in worker priorities, expectations, and attitudes and play to those differences. One misperception is that millennials don’t have a work ethic. The reality is that they have a very practical, pragmatic approach to work. While no less proud of the work they deliver, they are less prone to take the scenic route to getting the job done. Their use of technology — and networking — allows them to be incredibly efficient, on a very different scale from the past. In reality none of the generations are going to change their behaviors. Differences usually create the chance for all groups to grow and develop a newly shared vision of success. Millennials May be Causing Problems, but Are They the Issue? Huggins. K HR Solutions. In my work with many pharma companies, I always hear complaints about the millennials. There is still a huge gap as far as true awareness and understanding around the four generations, what each values, and why this is critical from a business perspective. Companies that understand these issues and embrace the strengths that each generation has to offer can significantly impact employee engagement, motivation, and productivity. The companies that recognize generational diversity as an advantage and take the time to educate their employees are experiencing more effective team and customer relationships. DiMisa. Sibson Consulting. Some companies are using specific training to understand different types of people, and what the type of individual competencies they bring into the job, their goals, and their career paths. Education can create an understanding between the generations. Employees who think differently need to clearly understand each other. For example, millennials, more than likely respond to corporate rules and status quo differently from other generations. All of these factors need to be part of a human resources curriculum for senior leaders in an organization. Organizations need to be aware of how to communicate with millennials when they come on board. Proper expectations need to be determined right at the beginning, which includes setting time lines for advancement and benefits, as well as many other things that the older generations were not bold enough to ask for or needed to know before accepting a job. Today the percentage of millennials in the work force is relatively light compared with five years from now, when the percentage of millennial employees will increase by 40%. If an organization doesn’t have a good understanding of how to recruit this generation, lead them, and motivate them, it will not be hiring the future leaders of the next generation. It is imperative that corporations take a look at their policies when it comes to this group and understand that they need greater flexibility. Cook. Lilly. To better appeal to millennials —and all generations — we have created a very different feel around our meetings. We have made them much more experiential, rather than didactic. We have tried to limit general session times, as well as limit slide presentations. We have designed our meetings to be much more emotionally charged and more purpose driven vs. sitting in a classroom or breakout room flipping through slides. I want people to walk away from a meeting emotionally charged, not in a sales hype way, but with a connection to our customers. I want our employees to connect with the fact that our business is about helping people and our products add value to patients’ lives. Millennials are helping drive this focus, and they will challenge the ‘whys’ until they are satisfied that they know the reason they are doing what is being asked of them. This constant questioning helps me connect to the purpose of a project. Srivatsan. Cognizant. Any time there is a diverse multigenerational group working together, the rules of communication need to be clear. For example, millennials are multi-taskers who respond to e-mail and IM chats at the same time. They easily cope with interruptions 24/7, but older generations may set boundaries and only answer e-mails during certain times. They aren’t accessible 24/7. Millennials may misconstrue this behavior as unresponsive and older generations may be annoyed by the nonstop interruptions of e-mails and texts from millennials. Therefore, groups need to talk about communication expectations, because this is the fundamental disconnect. If someone does not understand another person’s communication style, he or she may feel alienated. When Millennials Take Over the World Marsico. PDI. We are most certainly hiring millennials. While we continue to hire in all age brackets, the millennials seem to have a particular attraction to and temperament suitable for sales teams. The sales role plays well with their general can-do attitude and positive, confident self-image. Shaw. FranklinCovey. The statistics of millennial unemployment are a bit grim. Millennials have a significantly higher unemployment level than the other generations. The younger millennial males are at almost a 20% unemployment rate. Industries that tend to have high turnover, such as the hospitality and accounting fields, are hiring some millennials. In this current economy, most companies are hiring experienced individuals first and therefore hiring people who are older. In any recession, it’s the young people who get hit the most. However, the pharmaceutical industry is uniquely positioned because not only do millennials care about doing well financially, they also want to make a real difference in the world. The biggest misconception is that companies can avoid hiring millennials. People say to me: ‘I’m just not going to hire them,’ or ‘We try to avoid them.’ Well, for one, that is age discrimination, but even more than that, soon companies won’t have a choice. Huggins. K HR Solutions. By 2012, the millennial generation will represent close to 30% of the work force. Companies are starting to hire millennials but not all companies have truly embraced them. In many companies, there is still the mentality of ‘this is how we do things here.’ This doesn’t always work so well with the millennials. They are looking for a company culture that respects diversity and encourages new ways of thinking and idea sharing. DiMisa. Sibson Consulting. High-tech services, pharma, and in general, the healthcare and insurance fields are recruiting millennials higher than the average rate. These industries have discovered that millennials are a very hard working group, who are very goal-oriented, and who like to be challenged. A lot of the skills millennials have play out well in marketing, sales, and business development. They are confident, collaborative, and tech-savvy, and all those skills create competencies that help them thrive in a sales or marketing environment. Millennials like to have a flexible work schedule and want to work in a friendly, casual environment, and if a company meets these needs, millennials’ satisfaction will actually increase their productivity. Srivatsan. Cognizant. As an example, in our company, about 75% of our 100,000 global employees are millennials. The millennial population is growing not only in the United States, but India, China, and other countries where we operate as well. In the United States, we are aggressively recruiting this group on campuses as well as the lateral market as a source of key talent. Millennials will increasingly make up larger portions of our work force. Millennial Myth Busting DiMisa. Sibson Consulting. Millennials want to be challenged, they like to learn new skills, they want be treated respectfully, and they want to have flexible work schedules. Many of these attributes can be misinterpreted; millennials can be perceived as having short attention spans, or liking to job hop, or being restless, or using one employment opportunity to catapult to the next one, but this is not really the case. If members of this generation are not challenged, they will leave. But if a company creates a challenging environment and gives them interesting work, they can be very successful. Pharma companies need learn to work with this generation. Pharma companies have the opportunity to recruit some of the best and brightest in sales and marketing, if they are willing to provide the benefits that are important to this group. According to our survey, millennials, as a group, perform equal to or greater than other generations in sales roles. Huggins. K HR Solutions. One of the biggest misconceptions is around communication skills. The other generations assume that millennials cannot communicate verbally simply because they prefer to use technology. This is not necessarily true. Millennials have been making oral presentations since elementary school and although they leverage technology, they still have the ability and desire to communicate face to face and share ideas verbally. In a survey we conducted about 18 months ago, we learned that every generation expressed face-to-face communication as their No. 1 preference when talking with their boss. Millennials have a strong desire and need for coaching and mentoring in the workplace. They rely on their boss to provide this and want the opportunity to speak face to face as often as possible. Another misconception is around work ethic. I’ve heard other generations express frustration and concern that millennials won’t put in the required hours. When I have discussed this with groups of millennials, they say they are more than willing to work long hours, but they want to understand how the work they are doing fits into the larger picture, adds value to the company, and leverages the skills that they bring to the table. They also want to have flexibility in getting the work done. If they choose to do it from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. rather than 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., they don’t understand why this should matter. Marsico. PDI. We have been working with all generations in forming integrated work teams that specifically bring different population groups to the table to solve a problem or improve a process. We also strive hard to ensure companywide communications link all workers to each other and to key leaders in the company. We find that listening is key and ensures that there are both formal and informal means of getting input from, and providing feedback to, our national work force. Shaw. FranklinCovey. It’s all about learning the language and learning to speak cross-generationally to communicate effectively. How companies deal with building global teams is a great parallel. People don’t think of different generations as being similar to coming from different countries, but generations function as differently as people from other cultures. Make Way for Millennials Huggins. K HR Solutions. This generation will drive change in all companies. They are more willing to speak up, ask questions, and challenge the status quo. Their ability to leverage technology and create new ways of doing things will streamline outdated processes and establish opportunities that may not have previously existed. They are sensitive to people issues and have a true respect for diversity, not in the traditional sense of race and gender, but in the form of skills, experience, and thinking styles. This will create company cultures that place value on respect, collaboration, and innovation. DiMisa. Sibson Consulting. Today’s work force is made up of 23% millennials and is projected to increase to 32% in five years, which is roughly a 40% increase. Organizations have to understand that millennials are highly motivated, highly success-focused, and career-driven; they will strive to earn a lot of money and they want to have a status title and role. They have a little bit of a me-centered culture so organizations will have to understand this and build their cultures to support their needs as much as they can. For example, companies will need to create strategies that appeal to the individual, understand that titles are important to this group, and provide millennials with exposure to top management. This group wants to be mobile and won’t stay in the same job for many years. As the percentage of these employees increases, management and human-resource policies will have to change to support this. Shaw. FranklinCovey. Millennials will impact the future workplace in many ways. I like to remind folks that we called Gen X ‘slackers’ for the first 10 years, but nobody has called them slackers in the last 10 years. In fact, organizations have shifted so their cultures have at least as much Gen Xer as they do boomer preferences in them. Over the past 20 years organizations made adjustments in the workplace that were necessary to retain them. Organizations will do the same thing with millennials. For example, we joke, but flip-flops will be formal business attire — they will cost $200 and have more bling. Millennials are already having an influence on conference and meeting rooms in some offices, which are being redesigned to be more like social gathering places, more casual, and less about the table and more about people sitting in a circle having conversations. There will be more video conferencing and far more people working from home and conferencing at all hours. There will soon be 24/7 knowledge work share and as long as the work gets done and done on time, people will be working at very different hours. In pharma R&D, this trend will be even more pronounced. Srivatsan. Cognizant. The industry needs to look at millennials from two perspectives: millennials who work for pharma companies and those who consume pharma products. Pharmaceutical companies will need to have the tools and technologies to interact with them as both customers and employees. We recently worked on a global survey of 400 executives in cooperation with the Economist Intelligence Unit, and we found that companies that are at the forefront of more innovative, collaborative ways of working are looking to hire millennials. Companies that don’t provide a rich, collaborative, conversational experience are going to alienate a significant portion of their future work force and customers. “Employers often fail to create generational harmony within their organizations and the lack of understanding leads to missed opportunities. ” Joseph DiMisa / Sibson Consulting “Millennials will help us make a better connection with patients and communicate more effectively how our ­innovation changes lives. ” Tim Cook / Eli Lilly and Co. “For a company to attract and retain millennials, it first must adjust its culture. ” Nagaraja Srivatsan / Cognizant “The assumption is that ­millennials cannot ­communicate verbally simply because they ­prefer to use ­technology, but this is not true. ” Kim Huggins / K HR Solutions “All generations want to be respected, but each defines this ­differently, which creates friction. ” Haydn Shaw / FranklinCovey “Companies need to recognize the differences in employees’ ­priorities, expectations, and ­attitudes, and then play to those differences. ” Kathy Marsico / PDI The Four Generations Defined » Traditionalists: born before 1946, age 64 and older Many of the communication preferences that traditionalists were raised with still exist today. They prefer a more formal style of ­communication. While traditionalists do use technology for work purposes, they still prefer communications to take place face to face, over the phone, or through conventional mail systems. » Baby Boomers: born between 1946 and 1964, age 46 to 63 The television came along during this ­generation and the way information was ­received took on a new meaning. This ­generation has certainly embraced the use of technology for communication purposes but when surveyed, they still prefer face to face. Baby boomers are very relationship- and team-oriented. It’s important to take time to establish rapport and show a personal interest in them. » Gen Xers: born between 1965 and 1981, age 29 to 45 The advancement of the personal computer in the early 1980s ushered in the technology boom. Independent and self-motivated, Gen Xers have a more informal approach to ­communication and tend to rely heavily on the use of e-mail. They also have a more direct style and like to get down to business quickly. » Millennials/Gen Yers: born between 1982 and 2000, age 10 to 28 The Internet was born with them and ­information is now available 24/7. The primary mode of communication for Gen Y is instant and via technology. They use cell phones, text messaging, instant messaging, and blogs. They have taken the concept of networking to a whole new level with social websites. Source: K HR Solutions LLC. For more information, visit Preparing Your Corporation for ­Millennials A recent study from Accenture on the ­behaviors of millennials shows that ­organizations have a choice to make: try to mold millennials into something they are not or work to integrate the young workers’ strengths into the organizational culture. The latter requires rethinking IT policies on a regional basis, accommodating a variety of work styles, and adjusting organizational structures. Based on its research, Accenture ­recommends ­executives do the following: » Take the lead on listening, learning, and adapting. Organizations that work to ­develop a better understanding of ­emerging technologies and how millennials use them can benefit in multiple ways. » Balance IT boundaries and freedoms. CIOs can reconcile enterprise security, data privacy, and regulatory compliance ­concerns by expanding IT policies where possible while educating millennials on the business imperatives behind certain ­technology restrictions. » Adapt IT policies to deal with ­generational diversity. Judging from the on-the-go work style of millennials, ­organizations may wish to invest more deeply in enabling their mobile work forces. » Accelerate experiments with social ­networks. Organizations must accept that millennials actively research employers, managers, clients, and service providers via social networks. Engaging with students and young workers via these channels can help make the company a magnet for new talent. » Bridge the generation gap. Executives have an opportunity to restructure ­organizations to encourage creativity across all ages and experience levels. Find innovative ways to manage inter- generational teams. Establish two-way coaching programs that pair senior employees with millennials to encourage collaboration and knowledge transfer. Source: Accenture. For more information, visit ­ Five Tips to Leading Across ­Generations The successful mixture of four generations in the workplace requires upper management to lead through the differences, rather than trying to manage the differences. The ­following five steps illustrate how to lead a team through the 11 common points of ­friction that occur between the generations. 1. Acknowledge: Get the team talking about generations 2. Appreciate: Get the team asking “why,” not “what,” and align focus to common needs 3. Flex: Agree how to accommodate the ­different approaches 4. Resolve: Sort the generational preferences from the business necessities when ­flexibility is not enough 5. Leverage: Layer the strengths of the­ ­generations The 11 points of common friction between generations » Respect » Decision-making » Training » Feedback » Dress code » Meetings » Fun at work » Work ethic » Communication » Policies » Loyalty Source: FranklinCovey. For more information, Alan Edwards is Senior ­Director, ­Americas Product Group, Scientific Kelly ­Services Inc., a global provider of work force solutions. For more information, visit “As the next generation prepares to enter the work force, employers will notice how ingrained their lives are around Web ­technology. To keep this talented group ­engaged and productive, companies will need to use ­remote, wireless, mobile, and cloud ­technologies, thus ­enabling employees the ­flexibility to work where needed. This will enable employers to acquire and deploy the top talent on a global basis as business needs ebb and flow. ” Ruth Frazer is President of Pharma-Cruiting, an ­executive search firm specializing in the ­recruitment of executives within the ­life-sciences industries. For more ­information, visit “While some employers may be tentative to hire ­millennials, our experience is that ­companies are ­embracing the opportunity to have a multi-generational work force. Successful life-sciences companies ­understand and ­appreciate the benefit and need to hire elite individuals across generations. Individuals in their 20s have primarily grown up with ­significant knowledge and experience in the technology area, especially ­interactive computer ­software. Such individuals can be very creative, business savvy beyond their years, ­assertive, and highly motivated to prove themselves. ­Despite the potential for such ­characteristics to clash with those of a more seasoned ­professional, companies have been able to successfully blend the strengths demonstrated among their ­employees across generations. Younger professionals do display a great deal of respect for others and they ­understand how critical a strong work ethic is in the workplace, ­especially in today’s ever-changing economy. ” Dr. Jan Ferri-Reed is President of KEYGroup, an international speaking, training, and assessment firm. For more information, visit or e-mail “Millennials, or Gen Yers, born between 1982 and 2000, are known for their high education, techno-savvy, ­orientation toward teams, and social networking ­know-how. Life-sciences companies can prepare for ­attracting and ­retaining this generation by adjusting their policies and procedures to embrace flexible ­schedules, ­virtual work, individual and team rewards, and a well-defined career ­development process. Gen Yers work to live and desire challenging ­assignments, career opportunities, and informal work structures that allow them to contribute at the optimal level. It is also helpful to prepare managers to embrace the uniqueness of the Gen Y ­generation, while helping them to coach this group on what they need to do to be ­successful. ” PharmaVOICE polled those in the recruitment field as to how today’s life-sciences ­companies should prepare for the next generation of employees. Below are their tips for embracing a multi-generational work force. Millennials Tailor-Made for Sales and Marketing Roles This generation’s natural inclination toward social networking can foster success in today’s ­­technology-enhanced climate. “Millennials represent an opportunity for pharma to recruit some of the best and brightest for sales and ­marketing roles. ” Joseph DiMisa / Sibson Consulting “If the corporate ­culture provides a ­supportive environment and understands their needs, then millennials will thrive in any ­position. ” Kim Huggins / K HR Solutions “Any position that involves collaboration and social ­networking would be a ­perfect fit for a millennial. ” Nagaraja Srivatsan / Cognizant hile millennials are less likely to be working in the sales organization today, their presence will multiply in the next five years, says Joseph DiMisa, senior VP of Sibson Consulting, and this group will be very successful. Sibson recently published the report Millennials in the Workforce: How to Properly Manage, Reward, and Compensate the Millennial Generation, and that report showed that, contrary to popular belief, 92% of employers surveyed reported that millennials’ attainment of sales goals was just as good or better than nonmillennials. “Since millennials are overachievers and have a constant need to challenge themselves, they typically thrive and outperform, in many cases, the other generations,” Mr. DiMisa says. “They take more risks, are more friendly, and are more cordial, and have more relationship skills, which all lend to being successful in this type of role.” According to Kim Huggins, president of K HR Solutions, the success of a millennial in any position, sales or otherwise, rests largely on the company culture more than on the individual. “If the culture is one that is able to understand their needs and provide a supportive environment, then millennials can thrive in any position,” Ms. Huggins says. She has found, however, that many pharma companies hire millennials for sales positions and then they struggle with bridging the gaps between the physicians they are calling on, which are usually members of the other three generations. “I have heard of millennials experiencing pushback from physicians because they do not view them as having enough experience in the industry to be of value,” she says. “This is why it is important to educate around generational issues.” As a generation, millennials were told that they can achieve anything, and Nagaraja Srivatsan, senior VP and head of life sciences, North America, Cognizant believes they can. “I think any position that involves a lot of collaboration and social networking would be a perfect fit for a millennial, including clinical trials, patient recruitment, and of course, sales,” Mr. Srivatsan says. The change in the sales environment that will require more electronic interaction between the physician and the sales rep is a natural transition for this generation, Mr. Srivatsan says. He is also hopeful that the millennials’ spirit of collaboration and transparency will help break down the long-held silos in pharma, which would lead to a transformation that would reach across the value chain. Millennials and IT in the Workplace Accenture’s global research on Millennials’ Use of Technology indicates that millennials ­display attitudes and behaviors toward ­technology that often clash with corporate controls over IT as well as traditional work styles and hierarchical structures. The ­induction of millennials into the work force has many implications — and an equal number of opportunities — for ­organizations and ­particularly the CIOs holding the technology strings. Those companies that choose to listen, learn, and adapt are most likely to improve their competitive advantage in core areas, including recruiting and retention, innovation, and growth. The Accenture survey ­indicates that ­millennials: » Increasingly choose their employer based on access to leading technology. » Prefer to choose the computer, mobile device, and applications they use at work. » Express disappointment with the quality of employer-provided emerging technologies. » Favor text messaging or instant messaging over e-mail. » Routinely bypass corporate approval ­procedures when using devices and ­applications. » Regularly download nonstandard ­technologies not available at work. » Exhibit different notions of online privacy than older workers. Source: Accenture. For more information, visit Defining a Generation: Millennial Traits » Millennials tend to approach each ­challenge with a strong sense of confidence. » Millennials have dealt with “helicopter ­parents” who provide them with guidance along the way. » Millennials have a reputation for creatively rethinking the rules. » Millennials are totally immersed in the latest and greatest gadgets. » Millennials tend to define friendships in looser terms. Yes, they do have strong bonds, but social networking online has changed the way they view “friends.” » The millennial’s motto would be: “If you want the job done, do it with a team.” » Millennials are known as the hyper- multitasking generation. Source: KeyGroup. For more information, visit ­ These tips are designed to assist managers in coaching millennials in communicating effectively with other generations. » Who is your communication intended for — peer, colleague, manager, executive, ­partner — and what do they expect? While a casual approach works well with a peer or ­colleague, the senior leader in a department might not appreciate it. Take the time to learn the ­expectations of your audience. » How urgently does the person need the ­information — immediately, by the end of your business day, their business day, the client’s business day, early next week? In a global ­environment, a broad requirement like end of the day or as soon as possible can have ­multiple meanings. Check your assumptions. » What form or forms of communication can best meet the need of the recipient — phone call, e-mail, text, multiple forms, multiple ­recipients? While millennials don’t e-mail each other much, it’s still the primary communication process in business. Millennials need to avoid ­responding to clients by text message or ­Facebook, unless these methods have already been approved by the receiver. Otherwise, stick with tradition, and no text abbreviations. » What can go wrong — text gets deleted, voice mail not delivered — and how can you mitigate the risk? Millennials trust technology. Unfortunately, many business users, systems, and processes aren’t as adept as they are so they sometimes don’t get the messages. As a manager, remind millennials where things can go wrong and how to leverage redundancy so that the critical information is communicated, regardless of how well the technology did or didn’t work.

Posted in:

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a Comment.