If you read it as I did, I suspect you’ll find this post at The Fiscal Times simultaneously interesting and depressing. Here’s its main argument:
Gallup defines the 76 million millennials as people born between 1980 and 1996 – now the largest generation in the U.S. And they are from a different planet than, say, baby boomers. Baby boomers like me wanted more than anything in the world to have a family with three kids and to own a home — a job was just a job. Having a family and owning a home was the great American dream.
Millennials, on the other hand, place “my job” equally or even ahead of “my family” as their dream. So, because their life is more focused on work, they need to draw more from their work environment. They have their best friends at work — including best friends who are customers. They want meaningful work and to stay with an organization that helps them grow and develop.
Everything has changed.
What does all of this mean for reversing world productivity trends? It means that we need to transform our workplace cultures. We need to start over.
To summarize Gallup’s analytics from 160 countries on the global workplace, our conclusion is that organizations should change from having command-and-control managers to high-performance coaches.
The change will immediately save massive costs by wiping out the wasteful practice of filling out forms and checking management boxes.
Why “high-performance coaches”? Because millennials demand development over satisfaction. They demand ongoing conversations over annual reviews. They demand strengths-based discussions over weakness-based “gap” discussions that produce zero results.
I think there is no prospect for that whatever, at least not in the near term. Among other reasons I was hired to do just that, provide high-performance coaching, by my present employer. I’m not being allowed to do it because it’s just in too great a conflict with the business’s principles and policies of operation.
The reason I don’t think there’s much prospect for it is generally weak management. Top management is generally there for the wrong reasons, jealous of its prerogatives, and its objectives are opposed to a paradigm change from work as punishment to work as collaboration. Despite being a 21st century business the company I’m working for is the most 19th century company I’ve ever worked for.