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Don’t panic! Young co-workers are not as bad as you think

13 February 2015, 08:42 Karin Schimke

Nairobi - You have probably heard the word ‘Millennials’ numerous times, along with the negative connotations which usually accompany it. Lazy, self-entitled, poor work ethic, lack of respect - the list goes on.

While these labels have been around for a while, Millennials are not the ‘doomed generation’, as people like to refer to them - they simply do things differently - particularly within the workplace.

The Myths

Millennials are lazy:

While they are often referred to as being lazy, these guys actually possess a significant amount of knowledge regarding technology, which is why they also know of five different ways to complete a task, both quickly and efficiently.

Millennials have no sense of loyalty:

While you may find that Millennials do change jobs more often than the older generations, it’s not for the reasons that you think. Their values are slightly different to those of Generation X, in that they are not willing to sit around and wait for things to get better – if they feel undervalued, they take the leap and look for work elsewhere. Show them you appreciate them, and they’ll stick around.

Millennials have no respect for their superiors:

Millennials ask a lot of questions, and maybe this is something that makes some people uneasy – why would anybody question us? These guys were raised to ask questions. It’s not that they lack respect, they simply want to understand how things work.

Why Should I Care?

According to research by Price Waterhouse Coopers, Millennials will make up almost half of the global workforce over the next five to ten years, which means that you could easily have a Millennial as your Line Manager, Supervisor, or even as your CEO.

According to Arno Kemp, People Executive at prominent e-learning design and development company, The Training Room Online, even casual conversations between colleagues seem to lead to a dead-end. It’s as though people don’t know where to ask a question or how to push the conversation forward.

Technical knowledge can be acquired through university or college, but how can Millennials improve their soft skills?

Well, they can start by determining what their weaknesses are and then begin reading books or enrol themselves in a soft skills training course. The purpose of any corporate training programme is to help employees achieve competency and the skillset required for the job at hand. Soft skills are somewhat easier to acquire than hard skills, so with a little bit of motivation, our Millennials are set to do great things in this life.

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- Women24


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