The More Things Change…
Do you remember the first day of your career? That first day? Perhaps you can even remember the interview that got you the job. How about when you walked in the door, was there excitement and anxiety that first time? Then things changed a bit. Do remember what you thought about the work and your coworkers after you had been on the job for a few months? The question that came up a lot “Why do we do things that way?”
Now I would ask you to transfer yourself into the minds of the first day employee today. Are they any different than we were? Are they any less anxious or excited? And what do they think of how things are done after a couple of months?
But we aren’t happy with this new generation. “The millennials.”
They don’t want to work as hard as we did. Remember the truth of our memories. You have no idea how good I was back then. Rose colored glasses.
Can you imagine accepting, deeply accepting, that this new generation is better than we were? Not really. However, they are so much better than we were in almost every aspect of knowledge today.
They are lazy. They are not patient and they don’t do what they are told very well. They want to get paid too well for what they do. They want a fast track to the top. Don’t forget that the world has changed.
Then there is the talk by Simon Sinek, that I have referenced in previous blogs, that highlights that the millennials have been innocent victims of a series of unfortunate things.
They get participation ribbons and trophies, winning at anything has been debased. It isn’t as important as trying. Working hard to succeed is frowned upon in some quarters.
They have been told that they can accomplish anything. They can do anything. They are so good at everything. Then they get a job and find out that those comments were lies, or at the least exaggerations.
Now my generation, the baby boomers, is closing in on retirement. Most of my generation has already retired. Now we are dependent on the millennials in our retirement. They pay into social security so that we can take out of social security.
I believe that my generation has become brittle. We are change resistant. We have become obstacles to fresh thinking. The kind of thinking that the millennials bring to us and our workplace. Paul Daugherty, the Chief Technology and Innovation Officer, at Accenture says:
“Learn, Teach, and Live. Learn every day: challenge yourself to learn more – a new area, a new fact, a new technique – every day, and continuously curate your list of learning sources. Teach others; share your knowledge with colleagues, teams, others – teaching is the path to leading. Live means that you should focus on balance, values, and purpose. That’s the only way you can be your ‘best self’ daily and over the course of a career (and smile and have fun along the way).”
Yet today many companies are promoting what has become named “the hustle” society. It is no longer “rise and shine” it is now “rise and grind.” This is not a good thing is it? We are always on duty today. Cell phones, texts and emails happen 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Apparently, these transitions and this work hustle has been a feature of society ever since the Industrial Revolution and the “mercantilism” of the 16th century.
So how would you respond to this? How should these fresh employees respond to this? They are going to be working for the next fifty years. Think about that. That is a long time. How are they going to stay relevant on the job? How long will their education serve them until it needs to be refreshed and made current? The rates of change over the past fifty years are been eclipsed by the rate of change going on today. Can you imagine the changes coming over the next fifty years?
The workplace seems to be the same as many other aspects of our society today. It is segmented, some would say fractured. It has become more tribal in nature. There are more “Us and Them” moments. How did this happen? For some time now we have heard about “Silo’s” in the workplace. Departmental differences and jealousies. How did this happen?
Well I suspect that WE are to blame. WE let this happen and we are the only ones who can fix it. Unless we step up to make changes in how we operate and think – it will only get worse.
YOU need to embrace all coworkers irrespective of what “tribe” they come from. When they walk in the front door and every day that they continue to walk through that door, they are part of US. We are all on the SAME TEAM we are all in the SAME TRIBE.
Don’t you believe it is much easier to accomplish things if we all work together? We have common goals and objectives, as a team. Working together it much easier than trying to do it all ourselves.
The TIME is NOW.