Unhappy Millennials at Work? This Inter-Generational Conflict Has Always Been Present

Unhappy Millennials at Work? This Inter-Generational Conflict Has Always Been Present

It is not uncommon to now have 5 generations in the workplace. What needs to be considered when trying to attract, engage, and retain different generations in the workplace? And why do the upcoming generations have shorter attention spans? Adam Henderson, a British expert on the ever-changing world of work and generational challenges, will answer these questions and more at the BLF CSR Summit.

A lot of companies deal with unhappy Millenials at work? Why?

Millennials are people who were born between early 1980s and late 1990s, meaning they currently range from their early 20’s to their late 30’s. Like any generation, Millennials are the product of the world they grew up in, which for Millennials has been heavily impacted by technology. This has changed the way they think, the way they behave and ultimately the way they can and want to work, which many businesses do not understand either through choice or ignorance. This has lead to a growing disconnect between how many businesses currently operate vs how Millennials want to work, leading to greater levels of discontent and unhappiness at work.

What can they do to keep up with them?

Businesses need to first understand the mindset of this new type of Modern Employee and in doing so will be able to make more informed decisions on how they need to change their ways of working to reflect the way the world is and not the way the world was.

What would you say it is, that makes Millennials so different and “special” when compared with the previous generations?

Millennials are no more “special” than any other generation. Millennials are different to the one that went before them (Generation X) and Generation X are different to the one that went before that (Baby Boomers). I’d urge anyone reading this to think back to when they first started working and if there was a difference between how they saw the world and wanted to work vs how their manager’s saw things and worked. This inter-generational conflict has always been present, but the focus on Millennials has only now become the most prevalent as they now make up the biggest demographic in the workforce.

There is a great focus on Millennials and how to work with them. But there is a whole new generation getting ready for work – Generation Z. How different is Generation Z from Millennials? What are their expectations when it comes to work?

Generation Z, also known as the i-generation are only just coming into the workplace with the oldest of this generation being in their early 20’s. However, early research indicates that this generation is even more digitally native than Millennials, growing up in a world dominated by social media, meaning they often have shorter attention spans but are able to multi-task better. However despite this digital immersion, they also see the value of face-to-face contact and seem to be better at balancing their use of technology than Millennials. These, along with other key trends, need to be considered when trying to attract, engage and retain different generations in the workplace.

What is crucial for Millennials and Generation Z to be motivated to stay in a company?

For Millennials, I have identified 8 key things that are important to them in their place of work, which I will cover in more detail at my talk. However, the key things are that they expect to work flexibly, want regular feedback, want to feel a sense of belonging at their place of work and that they should be valued on achievement and not time.

How do you encourage inter-generational dialogue at workplace?

It is not uncommon to now have 5 generations in the workplace, all with different mindsets and behaviours that need to be understood and managed if a business is going to be successful. One of the key activities any business can do to improve their inter-generational dialogue is to listen and engage with the different generations to understand and highlight any synergies and disconnects, and then develop ways to build on these new insights within the workplace.

I will be covering this and more in my talk on 12th November and look forward to welcoming you to join me to find out more.