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The Intergenerational Workplace Battle

Dealing with Millennials can be a challenge for those few remaining managers who come from earlier generations. Sometimes the problems arise from differing perceptions.

In their book “Managing the Millennials,” Chip Espinoza and Mick Ukleja offer a comparison of manager vs. millennial perceptions.

* Autonomy — Management View: They express a desire to do what they want when they want and not worry about being micromanaged. Millennial View: There is too much emphasis on process that is restrictive to working faster, smarter and more effectively.

* Entitlement — Management View: They want to move up the ladder quickly but not on management’s terms. They want a guarantee for their performance, not just an opportunity to perform. Millennial View: Older workers think millennials want everything handed to them with them having to work for it.

* Imagination — Management View: Millennials have great imagination, but it can distract them from participating in an ordered process. Millennial View: Management is process-oriented rather than outcome-oriented. We’re not allowed to prove our value to the organization.

* Self-absorption — Management View: Millennials are primarily concerned with how they are treated rather than how they treat others. They see tasks as a means to their ends. Millennial View: We are problem solvers and innovators but we’re frustrated when our ideas are not entertained or are easily dismissed. We are made to feel that we do not belong in important work situations because we are young.

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