September 05, 2007

Managing Millennials

Ombuds, especially in higher education, have already discussed their observations about the Millennial Generation (i.e., 20-somethings born after 1976, also known Generation Y or Echo Boomers ). These anecdotal accounts are becoming the focus of attention by business leaders and management experts. Author and career consultant Alexandra Levit told NPR's Morning Edition that:
This generation of 20-somethings is slightly different in that they grew up very coddled by their parents. And so they're coming into the workforce really not prepared to do some of the grunt work associated with being an entry-level employee and want to do meaningful work right away. This cuts both ways, because in one sense you have people who are very motivated, very smart [and] know how to leverage technology. But on the other hand, you have people who tend to want to be general managers by the age of 23. (Morning Edition.)

The Harvard Business School's Working Knowledge newsletter recently considered the issue and concluded that:

[Millennials] will be more adept at managing in a changing, global, and networked environment. They will do it with a greater emphasis on teamwork, facility for the use of technology, and sensitivity to needs for work/life balance. (HSB Working Knowledge.)

Further research will likely confirm and explain what ombuds already know firsthand.

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