How Generations Approach the Workplace Differently

 
 
By Samuel Greengard  |  Posted 03-25-2015 Email
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    New Rules?
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    New Rules?

    33% of surveyed Millennials think it is acceptable to text during a job interview. Moreover, 30% believe it's acceptable to arrive for a job interview late by five minutes or more.
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    Loyalty Matters?
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    Loyalty Matters?

    One-quarter of Millennials believe that working at a job for as little as seven months indicates that they are a loyal employee. By contrast, Baby Boomers put the figure at five years.
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    Quitting Time
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    Quitting Time

    45% of Millennials would quit a job if they didn't see a career path they wanted at the company. 34% would quit a job on the spot if their employer asked them to delete their Facebook page.
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    Seeking Hire Ground
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    Seeking Hire Ground

    47% more Millennials than non-Millennials found their current positions through an online job search. Yet, only 9% of respondents of all generations found their jobs through newspaper classified ads.
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    Mobile Matters
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    Mobile Matters

    43% of Millennials think that they should be able to apply for a job on a tablet, and 39% expect to be able to apply for a job on a smartphone.
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    Attention Deficits
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    Attention Deficits

    The study found that almost 40% of all applicants are not willing to spend a full minute reviewing a job description online.
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    Feedback Loops
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    Feedback Loops

    42% of Millennials want feedback every week. This is over twice the percentage of every other generation.
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    Focus on Loyalty
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    Focus on Loyalty

    33% of employees of all ages knew whether they would stay at their company long-term after being on the job for one week or less. That number skyrockets to 63% within the first month.
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    Making Work Pay
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    Making Work Pay

    Compensation still matters but 58% of working Americans claim that their coworkers are more productive at work when they're happy.
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    Focus on Transparency
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    Focus on Transparency

    73% percent of all employees want to know why they were hired over other candidates. 32% of all employees want to see and understand the progress they've made toward goals set by their manager.
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    Recommendations
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    Recommendations

    Rethink recruiting by adding an "interesting, fun or unexpected sentence or paragraph" at the beginning of a job posting. Show off the company culture and reputation, including through the use of videos that appear real rather than fake.
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    Recommendations
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    Recommendations

    Boost communication and dialog, including both frequency and feedback. Rather than a 15 or 20 minute meeting every month or two, consider using 30 second quick hit engagements that incorporate IMs.
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    Recommendations
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    Recommendations

    Use a "New Hire Fast Five" approach that includes a five-day launch period with welcome e-mails, text messages and other social engagement. Include a company tour with someone of his or her own age and gender.
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    Recommendations
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    Recommendations

    Offer immediate performance feedback, including visual metrics on a screen. Lay out a clear and identifiable plan for career development and advancement.
 

There's a general consensus that Millennials approach technology and work in a significantly different way than Gen X and Baby Boomers. They have grown up with technology, they are comfortable with it and they have been shaped by very different circumstances than their older colleagues. With about 79.8 million Millennials in the United States, they also represent the fastest growing generation in the workforce. A new report from Ultimate Software and The Center for Generational Kinetics, “Is There Really a Generational Divide at Work?”, snaps a number of key issues into perspective, including how Millennials–also referred to as Generation Y (born between 1977 and 1995)–communicate, use technology, engage in work, and what it takes to recruit, motivate and train them. The study examined the attitudes and behavior of 1,005 U.S. workers ages 18 and older, focusing on three primary areas: whether general differences are real, how Millennials are actually impacting the workplace and cross-generational commonalities and trends. Here are some of the key findings.

 
 
 
 
 
Samuel Greengard writes about business and technology for Baseline, CIO Insight and other publications. His most recent book is The Internet of Things (MIT Press, 2015).

 
 
 
 
 
 

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