REFLECTIONS

Posted on August 23, 2010

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WORKPLACE COLLISION COMING SOON

Unemployment is the number one concern today and in the coming November election; however, a generational conflict looms on the horizon.

With unemployment at near 10 percent, and older workers putting off retirement,  those wanting to enter the work force will find that most difficult to do.

The economy of 2015 will see less infusion of Generation X members and a surge of Millennials (those born between 1978 and 2000). The stark generational differences, in approach and attitude between the different generations in the workplace, will result in conflict between traditional managers and new employees as well as between Millennials and their older friends and co-workers.

Millennials have their computers and iPhones. Difference of gender, race or sexual orientation means very little to them, and tattoos and body piercings are not an issue in the workplace or at family picnics.

In business meetings, Millennials talk without fear of being labeled upstarts. They are deemed lazy and spoiled by helicopter parents who call potential employers to find out why their kid didn’t get the job or promotion. Most of them are well-educated, and they have been spoiled by their baby-boomer parents.

These kids hit the work force dependent on their parents, yet they rebel against parental influence. Many will live with their parents.

Advice to work hard and move up the ladder means nothing to this generation. They know nothing about the real world; however, we cannot lump all Millennials in the same category.

Time will come when employers will offer both a monetary and a social contract. The social contract says if you give more to the company, the company will give you more in return: job satisfaction, responsibility, a sense of purpose, advancement potential, real communication, and an enjoyable workplace.

The Millennialss  will fuel the generational conflict to a debilitating crisis as productivity falls victim to squabbles.

This too shall pass, and the Millennials, who do not get on board with reality, will be living in the street. A few years without jobs will do wonders for this generation of kids.

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