What Older Managers Can Learn from Millennial Workers

By Harvard Business Review
April 20, 2018

For all the talk about how 20-somethings desire and need learning experiences, the opposite is also true. There’s plenty to learn from them — and from how they learn.

Younger generations are quickly taking over the work force. They’re also becoming the decision-makers and the most hotly pursued consumers.  And they grew up with their own set of expectations, their own view of the world.

Members of older generations should take note and understand how to take advantage of a millennial workforce.

Here are a few things managers can learn from their younger employees:

Stop playing catch-up with technology: Millennials take a dynamic approach to technology. They aren’t just keeping up — they stay ahead of the trends by proactively seeking out new technologies himself.

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Get with the times: When you do something year after year, your stories from the old days become your shtick. But for young people, your examples might feel like ancient history.

Offer faster, individualized learning: In today’s fast environment, every minute counts, and not everyone wants to learn exactly the same things. Each individual has different strengths and weaknesses. To stay relevant, make sure to modify your approach to training, tailoring it to the needs of your audience.

Shelve the ego — and communicate: Learning from a millennial requires having the confidence to be humble about the knowledge or skills you need to gain. To achieve that you will have to rely on open, regular communication to keep the learning flowing freely in both directions.

It is very much a symbiotic exchange in which your counterpart will also be learning from you. But it will only be possible if you are willing to accept that a millennial can teach you a thing or two.

Copyright 2018 Harvard Business School Publishing Corp. Distributed by The New York Times Syndicate.

Topics: Education

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