I recently had the pleasure of sitting down over breakfast with Bridgeworks founder David Stillman, the generational expert, professional speaker and author of the new book The M-Factor: How The Millenial Generation is Rocking the Workplace. The book is a must read for HR professionals, Leaders and Managers who need to raise awareness and develop competency specific to the challenges associated with 4 generations intersecting in our workplace.
As a fellow Xer who incorporates generational content into my own speaking/training business I can tell you the conflicts are real and on the rise. Increasingly occurring between Xers like me and the eager, idealistic and opportunistic Millenials joining our organizations/teams. We struggle because we also coveted much of what this emerging generation demands from work – meaning, flexibility, opportunities to develop and advance. We often paid our dues, the “traditional” way. Suited up, arriving at the office at 8 am and grinding through menial task assignments to prove ourselves with annual performance reviews as the standard feedback mechanism.
That approach is going….going…..gone. Thank goodness. Millenials are the fastest growing segment of our workforce and as we enter the next growth cycle they will contribute increasingly more value to our organizations and demand an increasingly improved work experience. The M Factor offers excellent insights based on hard research to bridge gaps and foster improved connections and communication to favorably impact work culture.
The Bridgeworks Team offers programs, workshops and consulting specific to the generational issues organizations are confronting. I also recently spent a little time with their Milleneial keynoter, Seth Mattison. A speaker pro and authentic voice of Gen Y we had a nice exchange around the challenges and opportunity associated with the generational intersection. Suffice it to say that reverse mentoring offers each generation an opportunity to better understand one another and improve collaboration. And while Seth would rather make plans via text or Facebook and I tend to prefer a phone call or e-mail there is plenty of common ground. What he covets in his career is trust, flexibility/autonomy and the organization that is willing to invest in him for what is coming next. He wants to conquer the world. Now.
So do I. And if I were to ever head back to a more traditional corporate gig again, I will demand likewise.
Ryan Estis is a Keynote Speaker & Management Consultant blogging about business performance.