“When I was your age” is a phrase often quoted among employees separated by several years. Never before has the workplace experienced such age diversity which can create challenges regardless of your number of birthdays.
In this week’s episode, Clark Buckner shares insights of his Millennial generation. He helps us get inside the mind of this generation to learn more about how they think. Clark is a Nashville podcaster and Online Events Manager at TechnologyAdvice, a company that connects people to the technology they are looking for.
We know no one person can represent a workplace generation; but often commonalities exist among each age group. Our conversation reveals some interesting perspectives leaders of all types can learn from.
The definition of flexibility is….well flexible.
Gen Y employees are interested in doing what they want when they want. Where businesses can, focus more on results and provide flexibility to get the work done. TechnologyAdvice core hours each week. Realizing that every job may not be flexible in this way but it’s important find comparable examples.
Heard & seen are equally important.
Clark shares, “If leaders demonstrate we are heard; you will get some much more productivity from us.” In many ways, this group is an untapped resource. Just ask them! Find ways to learn more about their strengths, goals and the hidden potential you can bring to the organization. This dialogue creates ownership which leads to loyalty. He concludes, “If you don’t ask (or assume what we can contribute) we will go find another place to plug in.”
Don’t believe everything you hear
Negative stereotypes can plague every generation. Clark offers a different take on some common Gen Y assumptions.
- Stereotype: Sense of entitlement
- Gen Y Perspective: An eagerness to do work that matters. We often just want to know what success look like and how we can be more successful here
- Stereotype: Job hopper
- Gen Y Perspective: Tenure measured by experiences not years. Clark is celebrating his 1 year anniversary with the company which in terms for many Millennials is considered a significant milestone of accomplishment.
- Stereotype: Perks are required
- Gen Y Perspective: Perks are benefits that help us create more results. For example Technology Advice provides catered lunch 4 days a week and gym memberships. Perks help us focus on work and spend more time with our co-worker community. They become a key to helping is produce even more.
So what can we take away from a chat with this 20-something? Needs, wants, fears, and hopes are likely the same for every generation in your team. But those needs, wants and fears likely look a bit different for the 20, 30, 40 and 50 year old. They trick for you and me…let’s discover those differences!
You can follow along with Clark’s podcasting at and TechnologyAdvice.com/
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