Posts Tagged ‘Millennials’

How Employers Can Get the Most Out of Millennials

Written by Sherri Petro on . Posted in Blog

Get the Most Out of MillennialsGenerational Expert Sherri Petro shares answers to some of the most commonly asked questions.

1.   What are your tips for those who are Managing Millennials?
·       Start with the positive
·       Tell them what makes you happy
·       Be direct and clear
·       Expect a collaborative approach to reviewing performance
·       Learn about their career goals and align your requests, as best as you can, with those goals

2.   What are your tips for delegating to Millennials?
·       Name it. Be very clear on what you really want to happen
·       So what? Share the facts and why you need it to happen
·       Now what? Provide exactly what you need of them

3.   What are Smart Strategies for bringing out the best in Millennials while onboarding?

·       Have the technology set up for day one. Not having technology can be a sign of disrespect.
·       Get them on a field ride or job shadow early
·       Use a Baby Boomer mentor to help them navigate the organizational social network
·       Be the person that helps them grow!
·       Engage from the get-go. Bring them in early on projects so they can see the components

4.   What are the type of managers that drive Millennials crazy:
·       Are cynical and sarcastic
·       Treat them as if they are too young to be valuable
·       Are threatened by their technical savvy
·       Are condescending
·       Are inconsistent and disorganized

5.   What are some specific skills U.S. Millennials are lacking in the workplace?
Dependent upon their early education, US Millennials may lack critical thinking skills. Their education concentrated on honing creative thinking skills more than critical. Combine that with helicopter parents buffering or even taking consequences for their children and “everyone gets a trophy” and you will see that Millennials didn’t get to experience the end result of effort either. Critical thinking requires information and consequences. They may not have received both.

We are also seeing requests from Corporate America for enhanced business writing skills and classes on “how to be a professional.”   The first is homage to the texting culture and the second is about not understanding the impact of image and consequences on relationship building and buying behaviors. Due to texting as, generally, a one-on-one sport, they can also lack one-to-many conversation skills.

6.   How best to help them overcome their shortfall? What needs to be done to bring them up to speed?
Help them hone their critical thinking skills by pairing them with mentors who can share their critical thinking mindset then shepherd the process with them.  Managers and mentors should commit to explaining the “why”? and make it safe for Millennials to ask questions. They can explain the consequences of actions in an positive and upbeat way as well as be appreciative of the Millennials’ effort.  This generation has been lauded more for participation than effort in the past and need to understand that the workplace lauds effort.

To help bring them up to speed, combine teamwork & technology. They expect a technology solution. Define the rules of engagement so Millennials understand limits and expectations when on teams.  Mentor one-to-many conversations so they understand team dynamics. Explain the impact of not getting work done on other team members. That’s where consequences come in again!

Sherri Petro Addresses Coronado Roundtable On Generational Differences

Written by Sherri Petro on . Posted in Blog

Guest Post By: Jim Kelly

Generational Differences

Coronado Roundtable Members and guests were treated to an informative and entertaining presentation on generational differences in values and communication methods by business consultant Sherri Petro at the Roundtable’s monthly meeting in the Winn Room of the Coronado Library April 24. Ms. Petro discussed differences in work styles and learning strategies between today’s Millennials or Generation Y’s, born after 1981, and those of previous generations including Gen X, born between 1965 and 1980, Baby Boomers, born between 1946-1964, and Traditionalists, born between 1925 and 1945.

In general, Millennials are digital pioneers, menu-driven, global in outlook, interconnected and like to work on their own terms. Gen Xers tend to be informal, results- and money-oriented, direct in communications, independent and recognition-conscious. Baby Boomers crave respect, value self-improvement, desire flexibility and have a strong work ethic. Traditionalists are loyal, respect authority, value formal organizational control and believe strongly in the dignity of work rather than the need to find personal meaning in it.

These differences can greatly affect the way the different age groups learn and communicate. Traditionalists like face-to-face discussions and can learn from lectures. Boomers prefer interactive and group learning. For them, reading material and handouts are generally preferable to lectures. Telephone conferences also work well for them. Gen Xers tend to focus on outcomes rather than techniques. They are results-oriented and want to get to the key points without getting bogged down in details. They like e-mails. Millennials or Gen Yers are technology-driven. Learning needs to be entertaining and mistakes are learning opportunities. They like discovery and new experiences and want to make a difference. They prefer texting and social media and have a need to stay connected.

Sherri Petro is president of VPI Strategies, a San Diego-based consulting firm. She is a recognized expert in generational communications and learning strategies and has published nearly 100 articles on these subjects. She has facilitated hundreds of seminars on these topics and her clients include Fortune 500 companies as well as state and local government entities. A magna cum laude graduate of Youngstown State University with a BA in Psychology, she also earned an MBA from Pepperdine University.

The speaker was introduced by Roundtable Director Emeritus Jim Kelly. Roundtable President Wayne Hoffman presided. Coronado Roundtable presents prominent speakers and subject matter experts at its monthly meetings on the fourth Friday of every month except December in the Winn Room of the Coronado Library. Meetings start at 10 a.m. and coffee is served at 9:45 a.m. The public is cordially invited to attend these highly-informative events.

Generational Gem #1 – For Millennials, Is Telling Yelling?

Written by Sherri Petro on . Posted in Blog

Millennials, is Telling YellingAccording to Merriam Webster, there is a difference between telling and yelling. According to Millennials in my generational workshops, not so much. What’s this about?

Merriam Webster defines the two as:

  • Tell – to inform, say, divulge, reveal, narrate, order or direct.
  • Yell – to say (something) very loudly especially because you are angry, surprised, or are trying to get someone’s attention; to make a sudden, loud cry.

The two acts are differentiated by volume and intention.

How is it then that Millennials perceive the simple act of telling as yelling when the volume is not loud? I offer four things related to backlash from the self-esteem movement. Millennials are not used to yelling and they are misinterpreting telling as yelling. They may not have even been exposed to real yelling. They are also not used to being told what to do. Why?

QUALIFIER – Remember, generational information is an input not the end-all.

  1. MINI-ADULTS – Baby Boomers treated children as mini-adults with opinions that mattered. Traditionalists followed more traditional parent/child roles where children did not necessarily have voices that mattered. In fact, they said things like “Children are seen — and not heard”, a reflection from their own childhood. Boomers have taken the concept of being heard to heart in so many ways (two hour meeting where everyone has a chance to talk sound familiar to anyone?). When in conflict, Boomers might say “We’ll talk this out civilly – like adults do” versus saying emphatically “Because I said so!”
  2. EXPECTATIONS – Baby Boomers asked Millennials questions versus telling them what to do and gave them the freedom to answer with anything. Millennials may not be used to being directed. The simple act of telling can be alien since they expect to be asked – even if they don’t have an answer. Being told what to do can sound like yelling since it impedes on their freedom and may direct them to do something they don’t want to do.
  3. SPECIAL – We Baby Boomers wanted our children to feel special — and they do. We set this table – and yelling wasn’t on it. What’s this about? Not feeling special ourselves in larger families with the more stoic Traditionalists parents, who we did NOT want to be like, we chose a different parenting style. Traditionalists took roles learned from their parents very seriously. “I’m your parent, not your friend!” Yelling is an option. Baby Boomers parented, “I can be your parent and your friend.” Yelling as an option? Not so much. As a generalization, friends tend not to rage to each other. Rant, maybe? Rage, no.
  4. LIFE IS HARD – Baby Boomers, though with the best of intentions, removed consequences for their Millennials. We said that our children could do and be anything. We did not always follow that paraphrase with “….it’s going to be hard and you’re going to have to work for it.” And work can be hard places where yelling may exist since we are working with human emotions – the full range of which can be delivered in loud voices!

Make sense? Agree or disagree? There’s more but I’ll stop here and start the discussion.