The VAR Guy Features MessageOps in the Millennial Report
The Millennial Report: Managing Generational Gaps Through Strategy
It’s no big revelation that millennials think and work in different ways than their Baby Boomer and Generation X counterparts, but the problem that often arises in workplaces with a mix of different age groups is how management can get everyone to work nicely together.
While baby boomers are traditionally more content to knock out an eight-hour shift in one sitting, millennials are prone to stretch said shift over the course of a 12 or 16 hour day (Gen Xers, meanwhile, fall somewhere in between). Similarly, millennials are more comfortable with social media and cloud technology, while Boomers tend to be resistant to new technology. None of these methodologies are necessarily wrong, they just happen to be the dominant beliefs of their respective age groups.
So what’s a manager to do when he wants a fifty-something year old employee to play ball with a fresh-out-of-college new hire? The key, according to Chris Pyle, CEO Of MessageOps, is to get in the mindset of these workers and cater tasks to their generational specialties.
Here’s an example: You have a group of millennials working closely with your more experienced employees on a marketing campaign for a new piece of enterprise tech. Rather than force the Baby Boomers to navigate social media to promote the project, task your millennial employees with spreading the word through Facebook and Twitter, while leaving content development and proofreading to the Baby Boomers. Even better, have Gen X employees act as the mediators between the two groups, and you’ll be able to create a functioning work ecosystem where every group is responsible for what they do best.
Of course, this is just one example of the type of collaboration management can foster between employees, and as such it may not be suited for every situation. However, what is critical for management is the ability to think like their employees and cater tasks to meet their individual talents. Gamification may be a great way to foster healthy competition among millennials, for example, but confusing to older generations. It all depends on the specific age group in question.
One of MessageOps’ tools, Office 365 Adoption, helps all generations adopt and consume the full value of their Office 365 investment: http://www.office365adoption.com/