For young employees
transitioning from dorm room to desk job, one of the biggest challenges can be
interacting in a multigenerational setting. After all, during the school years,
people are generally in lockstep with their age group. Workplaces, with a community
of mixed ages, are a different story.
Smart millennials can take
advantage of the diversity of experiences in a work setting by learning
valuable lessons from older employees. Older employees can offer:
Older workers know the ropes. Smart newcomers can shorten their learning curve
by both emulating older workers and tapping into their deeper reservoir of
information about company policies, politics and industry information.
Seasoned workers have a big picture perspective that younger workers lack. They
have experienced cycles at work and in life and can provide a valuable road map
for younger counterparts.
Skills: The previous generation developed interpersonal skills
without the benefit of social networks and newer technologies. While almost all
workers now make use of newer technologies, the previous generation also
recognizes the value of face-to-face interactions and polite conventions such
as thank you notes and in-person phone calls. Younger millennials would do well
to acquire the same breadth of interpersonal skills.
Older workers generally were raised with an emphasis on self-reliance. Workers in their 40s and beyond often demonstrate
greater independence and require less hand-holding than a generation raised by
helicopter parents to expect constant attention and feedback. Younger workers
should try to emulate the independent style of older workers.
Work Ethic: Experienced workers,
who have steadily and progressively risen through the ranks, generally have a
strong work ethic and are conscientious employees. They understand that an
excellent work product, loyalty and hard work are necessary to get ahead. Savvy
millennials will take a page from this lesson: diligence and hard work are
necessary to achieve success.
is the best lesson an older employee ever taught you? Share
your thoughts here and at the Pendaflex Facebook
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Beyond FoldersTM is written by a team of Pendaflex associates
passionate about time management, communications, productivity and workplace organization. Believing in "continuous improvement" on both a personal and professional level, they share their unique perspectives on subjects of common interest to our readers.