Opening Insights: Millennial Muck-up
Coming to an organization near you, Millennial sensitivity training! Learn how to do something with the most challenging (and challenged) generation that America has ever seen. More than just a headlining statement, the trouble with Millennials is very real and many organizations are spending real money to do something about it. Rather than looking elsewhere for new talent, several organizations are evaluating new methods to accommodate this puzzling generation.
Informational Insights: Generational Integration
For many middle managers and executive leaders, it is tempting to take a stance of, Millennials are just plain wrong and we do not know what to do about them, so we should find somebody else. Well, that sentiment just will not work, as the primary workforce is comprised of them, and they are at an age when they will begin taking over middle manager and upper-level management positions. We can’t change that now, but there are two options for us to consider: We can work to change the people, or we can change their environment. Either way, a change is clearly necessary.
What Is the Deal with Millennials Anyway?
Millennial individuals, born roughly 1981-1994, are generally known for being tech-savvy, awkward/poor communicators and devoted to their own careers, not to their companies. They desire meaningful work. They like to work together in groups, but they don’t know how to communicate.
What Can We Do About It?
An organization leading the country in rentals and storage just began a journey into the unknown. Their Millennial problem has taken the form of severely understaffed storefronts due to a dizzying turnover rate that leaves middle managers puzzled and customers desperate. Plenty of applications are coming in, but the rate of acceptable incoming replacement hires returning to the floor can barely keep up with the rate of those who leave. Additionally, the team environment is one where Millennials are in charge of other Millennials. Why is this a problem? They can’t hear, don’t care and already know everything that is said to them. How will they communicate? No relationship can be successful without trust, understanding and communication.
The most amazing thing about this organization is not traceable to some super-policy from the executive leadership or special corporate social responsibility practice. Within this organization a quiet movement has begun. The Millennials, not the management, have initiated a grassroots movement to introduce a program for organization culture change. They are the problem, yet THEY want to do something about it. A handful of individuals in three groups are coming together now.
Rather than complaining to their bosses and demanding a change, as is common among the entitled Millennial masses, this group of individuals is positioning itself to affect an employee-driven organization culture change utilizing proven principles of bottom-up management and followship-leadership. They are influenced by a volunteer researcher, who is also an entry-level employee, and led by one of the company’s own front-line managers.
They are all signing up to participate in a pilot Collaboration Laboratory (Co-Lab) managed by Awareness Communications Technology, LLC (AwareComm®). In the Co-Lab, the principles of communication are experientially learned along with the value and necessity of working together as a team. Co-Labs follow the same principles used by Edward Deming, famous strategist responsible for rebuilding Japan, thereby transforming it into a manufacturing powerhouse, and for helping NASA during the race to the moon. He helped a puke bureaucratic government agency become the pinnacle of performance and saw our astronauts safely returned to earth.
They have an uphill battle to fight. Once they prove, that by working together and by taking charge of the development of a new company culture, they can be the change they want to see in their organization, then their movement becomes undeniable. Then, their leadership has to listen and that is how change will occur. Not with policy, not with a new vision from leadership, but through the actions of a group of people who want something different and are willing to take charge of their work environments.
The Millennial Struggle
Ernst & Young Removes University Degree Classification From Entry Criteria As There’s ‘No Evidence’ It Equals Success
University ‘Safe Space’ Culture, Making Scientific Breakthroughs UNLIKELY
As Boomers Retire Companies Prepare Millennials For Leadership Roles
Possibilities for Consideration: A Deliverable Answer
When the workers of an organization are the ones who ask for the policy change and drive its implementation, the rate of success for that initiative soars.
- What would it be like to work in an organization where there were no hierarchical boundaries?
- What would it be like to take charge of the environment that you wanted to learn, grow and work within?
- What would it be like to have the confidence to take a risk, knowing that your coworkers will have your back?
- What if you could take the professional development software home with you, and help your family culture as well?
Add Your Insights
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world;
indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.