Love ‘em or hate ‘em, Millennials are here to stay, and you’d better figure out how to handle them in the workplace. Some quick facts: Millennials currently make up roughly 1/3 of the workforce, and by 2025 they will represent 75% of global employees. They already account for 15% of managers.
We’ve probably heard more about this generation than any other in history, but considering that Gen Y is equally as large as the Boomers in many countries, and even larger in the US, the coverage makes sense. You’ve heard the financial analyses, the economic forecasts, the “entitlement” articles, but what do you do when Millennials aren’t just an abstract concept, but the crop of new employees recruited by your company? It’s an entirely different world.
Enter The M Factor, published in 2010 for supervisors, managers and co-workers to help previous generations cope with the influx of new workers. This book details multiple scenarios (all true) based on surveys and years of research by the authors, Lynne Lancaster & David Stillman, and provides suggestions, examples from thriving companies, and best practices for relating to your new colleagues. It’s a perfect blend of humour, humanity, and practicality that will have you embracing your Millennials, rather than hiding from them.
As a Gen-Xer working on a campus with a little over 20,000 Millennials, I wholeheartedly recommend this book. It opened my eyes and ears to better understand what it is that my clients, students, and colleagues were trying to say and accomplish, and has made me a better supervisor and colleague. Yes, I’m still occasionally shocked by things I encounter, but I prefer to think of those as coachable moments. I also recommend this book to Millennials (age 18-27). Yes, that’s right. If you want to better understand your supervisor’s position, how to function in the workplace with multiple generations, and advance your career, this book will give you some fantastic insights into why your colleagues behave the way they do.
A quick and easy read that will leave you much better prepared for that next intergenerational chat at the water cooler and beyond. And for those of you who aren’t Millennials, take note – they have as much to teach you, as you do them.