Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Three Career Skills Boomers are Better at than Millennials (Part II)

This is a continuation of an article I posted in our monthly Performance Pointer.  If you would like to subscribe to the monthly newsletter click here

Skill Three – Perseverance
Perseverance is tied to the emotional intelligence skill of motivation - staying productive even despite headwinds. Boomers have a strong stick-to-itiveness. They don’t just leave jobs if they are frustrated, they don’t call in sick because they want to avoid a co-worker, and they don’t want to change assignments every year because they are bored. Millennials do bring a great enthusiasm to their work and require it be fulfilling and engaging – all great traits. But in reality, all jobs have periods of stagnation. It just can’t always be fun…Boomers understand this and just slog through it when they have to. Millennials can gain key maturity skills by going to school on their Boomer colleagues.

As the Boomers retire in big numbers we are surely losing institutional knowledge, but we are also losing some key functional skills too. Organizations should be working to promote cross-generational mentor-ships to encourage the transferring of these vital career skills. Boomers should use their emotional intelligence to spot “coachable” moments to provide insight on business challenges. Millennials can use their emotional intelligence by recognizing when they are wanting too much too fast, identifying their triggers for creating unnecessary urgency. With all strengths, if they are overused they become a weakness. The strengths and weaknesses of the Boomers and Millennials nicely offset each other creating strong teams when both parties are open and willing to collaborate. For more ideas, check out this article on “reverse mentoring.”  At our firm, we have seen several family owned organizations with multiple generations working together in the workplace and the ones who are successful are leveraging the knowledge, experience and maturity of the older generation by keeping them active in on-boarding programs, leading small group discussions with younger employees, and assigning them to newly promoted employees as mentors. Ten thousand people turn 65 every day, don't hesitate to transfer vital EQ skills across the generations in your workplace.

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