Focus on Millennial Generation Needs
Understand how millennials work to optimize the workforce.
LOVELAND, Colo. (Nov. 18, 2015) — The millennial generation often gets a bad rap for being entitled, lazy and self-absorbed. However, they will make up about 46% of the workforce, so it’s good to understand more about them. Cassie Lapaseotes of Lapaseotes Feedyard, Bridgeport, Neb., explained some differences among generations and how best to handle millennials in the workforce to attendees of the Range Beef Cow Symposium, which had several events to attract millennial cattlemen to Loveland, Colo., Nov. 17-19.
Cassie Lapaseotes of Lapaseotes Feedyard, Bridgeport, Neb.
She highlighted a few general characteristics of each generation. Traditionalists, 70-90 years old, are known as the “greatest generation.” They lived through World War II and the Great Depression, are fiscally conservative, loyal and respect authority. Baby Boomers, 51-69 years old, eclipse the traditionalist generation by 17 million people. They grew up in a healthy post-war economy and are workaholics, top-down managers, micro-managers, enjoy systems in place and understand the big picture. Age-wise, the average rancher is a Baby Boomer.
Generation Xers, 35-50 years old, are independent, self-reliant, work to live (not live to work like Baby Boomers) and thus think of jobs just as jobs, want flexible schedules and have less respect for authority figures. Millennials, 15-34 years old, are 80 million people strong. They have a sense of entitlement and are diverse, confident, tech-savvy, want to feel valued, susceptible to change, multi-taskers, and individualistic yet group-oriented.
“Change is difficult, but not changing is fatal,” she shared. She listed millennial characteristics in the workforce.
- Millennials love a challenge, and the opportunity to be creative to meet that challenge. She said millennials want to do things their own way on their own time.
- Millennials want quick feedback if they make mistakes.
- Millennials need to know the “why” behind tasks, and they want to feel valued.
- Millennials want immediate results.
- Millennials need praise. She added that “helicopter parents” were always quick with praise while millennials were growing up.
- Millennials are loyal to managers, not to a company.
“Agriculture is a traditional industry, and we’re trying to fit a nontraditional generation in a traditional workplace,” she noted.
She concluded with optimal training methods for each generation. Traditionalists and baby boomers prefer observation and oral directions. Generation X prefers written and oral instructions. Millennials prefer written and video instructions. She gave the example that many millennials will learn new thing by watching YouTube videos to figure something out.
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