News flash: different generations have different values and expectations! This is not a surprise to anyone who has studied history, but being that our society is so closely interconnected, it’s hard to miss any of the major differences between the various generations that make up our society. In the workplace, these differences can be most evident, especially when it comes to how millenials and Baby Boomers differ in how they think about work and the companies that employ them.
“Job-hopping” isn’t such a dirty word anymore, and a big part of the reason why is thanks to the Millennial generation. Millennials are more willing than their older counterparts to jump ship at the first sign of a better opportunity: in fact, 6 in 10 Millennials are open to new job opportunities, even when they’re at a company they enjoy working for. So what gives? One possible explanation is that Millennials watched as their boomer parents gave their heart and soul to a company only to be unceremoniously laid off, or maybe Millennials just feel more socially free than their boomer counterparts to explore their professional options.
One thing that makes Millennials especially unique is their insistence on their company sharing the same ethical and social values as they do. This is related to the common Millennial idea that a company shouldn’t just be a place you spend 40 hours a week, but an extension of your personal beliefs and worldview. This ties in with their presumed “job hopping” tendencies, but with a twist: it’s not always insufficient pay that encourages a Millennial to leave their company, but a difference in ethical values.
Of course there are always exceptions to these generalizations about generational differences. But it’s still important to be sensitive to the very real differences between groups of people whose experiences and societal differences shape their values and behaviors. Once you discover ways to help the various people in your organization work together harmoniously, there’s no stopping you.
I’m Jessica Cox, and helping people work harmoniously despite their differences is a major passion of mine. If you’d like me to share my valuable and practical advice with the attendees at your meeting, convention, or religious gathering, contact me.