Millennials and Out of the Box thinking as Conflict of Interest.
Millennials are a demographic that is on the rise, the generation that is gearing itself for leadership while the baby boomers retire. Unfortunately, these two generations are always at variance when it comes to work ethics and expectations.
Human Resource divisions of companies have a list of complaints about issues that millennials have in relation to being team players. These criticisms are often along the lines of insubordination and lack of discipline. Yet, the problems arise not as a result of bad attitudes among this demographic but essentially as a result of the difference in perspectives and goals.
The millennial demographic are more ambitious and intended on building business ideas that are out of the box and different from the usual career ladder the older generations have come to call a convention. The conflict of generations is therefore evident in the twenty-first-century workplace, something that managers and experts are taking their hairs to find solutions to.
Baby Boomers work Hard, Millennials work, Smart
This is a major area of conflict between these two generations that is complicating the relationship in the workplace. Baby boomers are great believers in hard work. Hard being the operative word, they see being the first to arrive in the morning and the last to leave at night as evidence of this virtue.
In a Survey titled “Millennials at Work Reshaping the Workplace”, it was offered that millennials do not conform to the traditional office idea since it is possible to do work at home or even at a coffee shop. Showing up first for work as a yardstick of judging hard work and effectiveness becomes problematic since it is essentially an archaic modality.
Another issue that constitutes a conflict of interest stems from issues of motivation and growth potential. Millennials are a digital generation which makes access to information and possibility of growth bigger than what pertained for the older generations.
Incidentally, whenever a millennial is recruited to work in a corporation, sometimes HR takes too much time to assign tasks that are mindless and inconsequential and does not present any challenge whatsoever.
This leads to boredom and lack of motivation that is considered laziness by the hardworking generation. Trusting them with real challenges and giving them the opportunity to evolve is stimulating and yield better results.
Passionate and Ambitious
Millennials are more passionate and ambitious than the baby boomers and this is another cause of conflict. The out of the box thinking tendency of millennials is something that is frustrating for the older generations who were used to following specific procedures to getting particular results.
Millennials, on the other hand, are restless and ambitious and will rather break out and try their own ideas instead of being stuck in a boring or dead-end job.
This is a characteristic that the baby boomers find risky because it lacks the security of a paying job and the possibility of promotion to middle management. Doing the same thing day in and day out is boring and boredom is something that millennials cannot stand.
This passion and ambition are evident in the fact that there are more millennial billionaires today than in the past generations and some of them rank among Forbes Magazine’s top ten richest people in the world.
Respect Talent and not Age
Millennials love to learn and need role models to show them the ropes. The internet though has also made knowledge accessible and sometimes it becomes difficult for managers to teach them something new.
It is difficult to respect someone in a leadership role who is not knowledgeable or efficient. In these cases, the conflict becomes palpable.
According to talent expert Lisa Earle Mcleod, the advent of millennials coming into the workforce in great numbers after the 2008 recession created an upheaval in management proficiency.
This is because this group brings another set of skills and personalities that have not hitherto been seen in the corporate world. It is thus important for HR departments and managers to learn new skills that will help them harness this great potential that is the millennial demographic.
The Entrepreneurial Drive
Millennials are very creative so entrepreneurial ventures are more likely to be taken by this group than was the case with the baby boomers. BNP Paribas Global Entrepreneur Report indicates that millennials possess the drive to start their own businesses faster than any other generation. Averagely Millennials start out at 27 while the average for baby boomers was 35. 62% of this generation wants to be.
Averagely Millennials start out at 27 while the average for baby boomers was 35. 62% of this generation wants to be self-employed while 72% believe startups are a necessary economic stimulating force. This statistics is quite tenable since it has been noticed that this demographic is not comfortable just living from pay check to pay check. They need to break off, make a name and create an impact. This is why startups are quite spontaneous among this generation.
Of course, other factors also come to play like fewer startup costs that make it easy for ideas to translate from paper to reality. Startups that have led to billion dollars worth are often started in dorm rooms or in a basement as is the case of millennial billionaires.
The war of talent is a conflict that will take a time to resolve because it comes with a clash of generations. The older generation represented by the baby boomers believe in a set of conventions and work ethics that has become obsolete in the digital world of the twenty-first century.
The millennials on their part, are driven by different motivations and have the ability to use the opportunities put in their possession by the advent of the digital revolution to become more passionate and ambitious and also break out to set up small businesses.
This generation is imbued with a lot of talent and it is the responsibility of corporate managers and talent experts to make use of this great potential to increase growth and productivity.
BNP Paribas Global Entrepreneur Report. www.paribasglobalreport.com. 2016. Retrieved
Mcleod, Lisa Earle. “Hiring, Retain and Grow Millennial Talent” www.lynda.com retrieved 24/5/2017
Rendell, Michael et al. “Millennials at Work Reshaping the Workplace”. www.pwc.com. 2015. Retrieved 24/05/2017.
Related works: Deilotte Millennials survey article.