Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Stop the "write up" and micromanaging madness!
I just had a conversation with a friend of mine who was discussing some of the generation issues happening at their workplace. You would not believe some of the drama happening and what people are getting "written up" for.
One of the new things being instituted in many companies is a "no social networking" policy. Listen to me people, listen to me, I work with these students every single day, this is going to BLOW UP IN YOUR FACE!
I recently surveyed 89 Millennials born between 1982-2000 about their expectations once they are in the workplace:
32.2% says that they should be allowed to send personal emails while at work.
24.7% say that they should not have any restrictions on their use of social media or cell phone while at work.
32.7% say that they should not get in trouble for coming in 5-10 minutes late.
This is the future. When the economy turns around and 74 million Boomers finally get to retire there are only 69.5 million GenXers available to fill those jobs, and many of those GenXers have chosen to leave the workforce and stay home. The ones who have stayed have been forced to work insane amounts to compensate for the "down economy", so what are you going to do to fill those empty spots? You're going to have to hire Millennials. Untrained Millennials.
Millennials are already discouraged since they haven't been able to find a job right out of college, but the way they are being treated in the workforce is reprehensible. Entire levels of mid-management are being created just to double check the work of Millennials.
Why aren't you making them come up to the bar?
When you set expectations, invest in the Millennial, and empower them to succeed, THEY WILL NOT ONLY COME UP TO THE BAR, THEY'LL SURPASS IT. They're not dumb, they're lazy. We trained them to be lazy, we can UN-TRAIN them.
Think about this, with all of the technology you've purchased to do more work with less employees, hiring a Millennial who actually knows how to WORK that technology honestly gives them a lot more free time than regular employees. You aren't challenging them. You're not giving them hard projects because they "don't have enough experience" and "they're lazy and entitled" blah blah blah... they are BORED. So they're going to get online and on their cell phones because that's how they fill time. (That and they're actually TERRIBLE multi-taskers so they get distracted easily. Probably because their parents swoop in and fill any hole that needs filling before they can notice).
Think of taking away social media as if someone was taking away smoking breaks, or the seven-thousand birthday parties with cake and everything or someone telling you, "no more taking an hour every Monday discussing college and pro football games". You would NEVER let it happen. The watercooler was where you got inspiration, online is where they get inspired! This is how they communicate. Taking away all social media is like taking away their ability to communicate.
My suggestion? Instead of making work more parent-like, and saying "these kids today can't preform at the level we expect them to", then SET THE BAR. Then empower them with the tools and support to be successful. If that hire doesn't preform a the level you want after you have equipped them, well, there are almost 80,000,000 of them after all, keep trying until you find ones that will seize the opportunity and do their best. Because let me promise you, I'm teaching them, and they ARE out there!
Keep moving forward and stop "writing them up" for non-sense. They don't care. Its the equivalent of a high school teacher writing their name on the board for talking during class. It only demotivates them and gives them every reason in the world to either find another job or stop working as hard at yours.
They're not your children, they are employees. Set the bar and watch them reach it.