Breaking the Workplace Millennial Stereotypes

Breaking the Workplace Millennial Stereotypes
Breaking the Workplace Millennial Stereotypes
The Baby Boomers who dominated the workplace for the past few decades are now beginning to retire in large numbers, making way for the Millennials to flood the positions left behind. With a radically different body of employees filtering into companies across the country, it can be difficult for those who are accustomed to the way things were to get used to the way things will now be. Unfortunately, there are negative stereotypes harbored by Baby Boomers and other generations about Millennial behavior in the workplace. Yet, with some work, new Millennial employees can shatter those prejudices and show everyone that they are hardworking individuals who are unafraid to face challenges head on.

Miscommunication is by far the top culprit for the formation of stereotypes or negative imagery in general. To make things more difficult in the workplace, Baby Boomers and Millennials talk very differently and communicate in different ways. Millennials are part of a wired generation where text messaging, instant messaging, and e-mailing are perfectly acceptable ways of communicating with peers. However, Baby Boomers may see this lack of face-to-face time as evidence that Millennial employees are colder and more distant. Some may even view it as a sign of disrespect. However, all of these negative qualities attributed to Millennials due to their different behavior is a product of miscommunication. Chances are, Millennial employees who would sooner e-mail their coworkers with a question rather than stroll to their desks and ask in person are just as warm and inviting as anyone else, but they simply communicate in a different way. Millennials and Baby Boomers alike have to actively work to avoid misunderstandings and miscommunications by truly listening to one another and thinking about what they say and how they say it.

Many Millennials are also viewed as being lazy individuals who do not know the meaning of hard work. To combat this stereotype, Millennials need to ensure that their elder peers see them hard at work and not just busy chatting around the water cooler. While this does not mean sacrificing well-earned periods of rest to work, it does mean that Millennials may need to work a little harder to prove to Baby Boomers that they are indeed passionate about their jobs.

It is important to understand that Baby Boomers and Millennials grew up in very different circumstances and therefore are likely to behave in dramatically different ways. However, both generations should try to understand the other before passing judgment. More often than not, Baby Boomers and Millennials will come to the realization that both generations are full of dedicated, intelligent, and hardworking individuals with common beliefs, goals, and work ethics.
http://www.onlinecolleges.net/2010/02/

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