Dear Sharon – October 2018

Q. Our organization recently hired some younger workers to work at our bank. These younger workers don’t seem to have the same work ethic and want to reinvent every process we have in place. They show up right at 8:30 and run out the door at 5:00. Any advice?

A. This is a common issue today as the millennial generation takes over roles from the baby boomer generation. Being a baby boomer myself, I understand your frustration. But I’m going to be real with you. This is more our issue than theirs.

Think about our parents’ generation. Remember when Elvis came on the scene and their parents were mortified by his “gyrating hips”. Yes, this was a generational issue, and of course, both were right. Same story here.

Millennials are motivated by a firm’s “why”. Why does what you make or the service you provide make a difference for the people served? Because of how baby boomers were raised, their motivator was to provide a better living for their families than what their parents were able to provide. This creates the differences in work ethic as it relates to long hours. For baby boomers, the more the merrier. The reality is, with tech-savvy millennials (and Gen X’s), they can do a lot more in less time.

And about the reinvention of the processes. Unless these changes make you out of compliance, is it awful to revisit processes that probably haven’t been looked at in years? It’s likely they will make you more efficient.

The bottom line is this: Be flexible. Each generation has strengths and if you keep an open mind, communicate and set goals as a collaborative front, your company will be the biggest benefactor.