Open Journal Systems

Praising the kids

Ida Marie Grødal Halvorsen


Giving feedback to Millennials is about so much more than merely the clash of the self-centred, spoilt youth and the hardworking aging populace. It is about a clash of culture, of belief, attitudes and lifestyles. The specific topic of feedback is merely a drop in the vast ocean that is the consequences of a generation shift, and it does not operate in a vacuum. It is also not realistic to believe that organizations will change overnight as a result of the introduction of Millennials; nor should they. The youth may inherit the world, but for a while still, we are sharing it with our seniors, and cooperation is a multilateral relationship. But hopefully, some understanding will come a long way, assisting Baby Boomers and Gen X in dealing with Millennials as they adapt to life as a working adult.  Millennials are not necessarily worse than any generations that came before, only different, and the clashing elements that can be seen as weaknesses can become strengths; instead of bemoaning feedback-seeking behaviour as pleas for attention, see it as continuous opportunities for a dialogue with a colleague that is eager to improve; instead of shooting down young, ambitious workers as someone without respect for established systems, think about them as valuable resources for the future. Maybe Millennials do have to be reined in occasionally that is fine, but their presence is a reality, and organizations might as well accept their idiosyncrasies sooner rather than later. In the end, it is all about perspective.

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