Get a Life

By Judith Welles

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Get a Life: How well do you get along?

Some of the best educated, most progressive thinking employees might be the most difficult to manage and to work with. At least that is the case for managers of Millennial Generation employees (ages 18-31) in some Massachusetts companies.

Top tech executives in 40 companies in the healthcare, financial services, higher education and government industries rated the Millennial Generation highest on difficulty to manage, followed by Generation X (ages 32-42) and the baby boomers (ages 43-61).

When asked which generation they enjoy working with most, employees in the same companies rated Generation X the highest, followed by baby boomers, and Millennials came in last.

Although the millennials might present challenges to some managers, they also bring important benefits to the workforce. According to coaching consultant Jim Jenkins, this group, having grown up along with Internet, is the first global-centric generation. They are among the most resilient in navigating change while having deep appreciation for diversity and inclusion.

They are also team-oriented, having participated in sports, music, and recreational activities to keep them occupied while their Baby Boomer parents focused on work. Still, they can appear demanding even impatient as they seek challenge, Jenkins observed.

Sometimes generation gaps make it difficult for one age group to relate to another, a fact noted by many observers of the gulf between Boomers and Millennials. Still, gaps, no matter how wide, can be bridged by people with open minds and friendly personalities.

Which generation do you think is the most difficult to work with in your office? Which is the hardest to manage?

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Posted by Judith Welles on Apr 09, 2008 at 12:13 PM


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