The “And” Generation

This “and” generation idea is clever and accurate.

From Joyce E.A. Russell:

What millennials want from the workplace

“We call them the ‘and’ generation,” said Liam Brown, chief operations officer at the hotel giant Marriott International. “They want a career and fun and a balanced lifeand to make an impact on the world. They don’t want to give anything up, and they really want to do a lot of good things for the firm and the community,” he said. “At Marriott, we have found that millennials seek a workplace that offers opportunities to advance and grow in their careers, plus a demonstrated commitment to social responsibility.”

Karen Reinhardt, a talent development executive with Lockheed Martin, noted that millennials want to be empowered.

“Millennials want a little bit of guidance, along with opportunities to express themselves and to be innovative. I’ve managed millennials on teams at Lockheed Martin and am consistently impressed with how talented, creative and resourceful they are. If you give them opportunities to share their insights, they can really come up with ideas that others may not have even considered.”

Experts often refer to this as reverse mentoring — using millennials to share some of their skills with their older mentors.

“Millennials are technically savvy, and we appreciate learning from them as much as they learn from us,” said Sue Adams, a manager with the Labor Department….

Best advice for retaining millennials

Many organizations have devised strategies for keeping millennials engaged as they brace for a wave of baby boomer retirements. Marriott International, for example, has numerous programs in place to engage millennials. These include networking events where high-potential millennials are invited to informally meet with senior leadership, training for general managers on valuing the multigenerational workforce and flexible workplace options that may be more attractive to millennials.

Lockheed’s Reinhardt noted that millennials value development opportunities. She pointed out that at Lockheed, her company has created leadership development programs such as online learning, classroom training, special job assignments, mentoring, on-the-job training and participation on special task forces. These types of programs have been popular with millennials who really want to be challenged and advance in their careers.

Similarly, at BB&T, Campbell said millennials might be selected into their BB&T leadership development program, a 10-month intense experience where they can learn from classroom activities, on-the-job experiences and simulations. The program is designed to fast-track talented millennials in order to retain them. At the Labor Department, Adams pointed out the variety of internships and job opportunities for younger workers, many of whom want to work on environmental issues as well as workforce concerns.

“We need to respect what each generation brings to the workplace,” said Brown of Marriott. “Good leaders and managers know how to engage and retain employees, regardless of their background or generation.”

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than forty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • Kel Hahn

    All I can picture is the Coke Zero commercial with the firing squad.

  • JamesG

    You know, I feel for the Millennials. They’ve got to be the most pigeon-holed generation in history (and it’s a whole new pigeon hole every week). I guess it’s the price of coming along right as the Boomers finally got bored looking at themselves and deciding to turn the looking glass to their grandchildren. Oy. They’re a generation, not a zoo exhibit, but you wouldn’t know it for how they’re examined.

  • http://LostCodex.com DRT

    I have had close to 10 millenials work in my small business over the past few years and I am having a hard time appreciating them in the workplace. I would like to find just one who is willing to ask for help instead of beating their head against the wall and then getting it wrong in the end anyway.

    I think it is a by-product of the internet and electronic communications. They want everything to come to them and be used to support them on their terms.

    Of course, the ones with whom I have been working are either college drop outs of similar…..

  • http://everythingnew.org Jeff Cook

    The big “and” to add is … “and they are not asking for six-figures.”

    It seems the height of wisdom to seek a job you love, that does something good for the world, that does require one to sacrifice their family on the alter of mammon, and simply provide for your needs and not all your wants.

  • MikeK

    Hmm…I’m glad I read this blurb all the way through: I was thinking it was something else.

    Recently, my physician asked about my research into university students, and after I blathered a bit, he stopped the examination, and told me about his troubles finding a new partner.

    All of the fellows or the residents wanting to do a fellowship through his practice, wanted to be his business partner, i.e., buy into the practice, *and*…have plenty of scheduled vacation time, a fixed daily and weekly schedule, and on and on. It was all about the perks and benefits in the conversation, and zero sense of what was involved in running the business sides of health care nor the relationship between the requirements of fulfilling the residency with the time required to develop the professional credibility.

    So, unlike the managers cited above, these physicians didn’t ask my doctor any questions about medical practice philosophy or business management: they just wanted to know how to buy in, and how much time off they’d get while working on the fellowship. I didn’t sense that my doctor missed out in anything connected to “innovation” or “social responsibility.”

    Oh: my doctor just turned 40. This isn’t some huge cultural or generational gap going on here. Meanwhile, my doctor is overwhelmed as an ENT, and just getting an appointment can take…wait for it…months. But, he won’t take on a physician just to cover the gaps: there’s too much risk if the next doctor coming on is only thinking about their personal benefits…

  • Joshua Shepherd

    I’m 27. The generalizations here, as far as generalizations can, ring true for me. I think these desires are reactions to a culture of materialism and pursuit of “the American Dream” which has often been more of a nightmare for my generation with the broken families and psychological problems it has left behind. Yet, as desires often are, they are misplaced in the pursuit of fulfillment in the wrong place. Perhaps where one generation seeks to fulfill their deepest desires in the pursuit of material goods, the next generation reacts by seeking to fulfill their deepest desires in the pursuit of experiences.

    The corporate sector seeks to understand these desires in an effort to attract and retain “talent.” This is not a mistake in the corporate sector, but it is undoubtedly a mistake when the church employs the same strategy. However, an equal mistake is to simply condemn and judge what is different. This is the mistake often committed in cross-cultural mission, and we might say that current generational differences are so wide as to appear cross-cultural.

    Paul’s advice to Timothy was to engage the older generation as he would engage his Father or Mother. Paul saw Timothy as a “son”. I would hope that way of being would guide Jesus-People at a time when it may be easy to be dismissive of other generations because of our differences. I have a feeling this is something Scot does, and that is probably one reason I am eager to listen to the things he has to say.

  • Sb

    This is very optimistic. As much as distinctions can be made and helpful, there is something of resonance in the notion of the “and” generation. Though I tend to understand it more negatively, being 27 myself and wrestling with my own misassumptions about the way the world “works.” Much of what I have seen around me has been young folks wanting their parents’ quality of living without having to work for it. I have thought of our generation as the “entitlement” generation, and it’ll be scary to see what the affects will be. While obviously permeating the generation, many young folks want to work for themselves AND have financial stability AND have plenty of free time without having to work for it. But the other side of the coin are those wanting to avoid the corporate ladder, be financially free not by having lots of money but by living within their means (means that are, more commonly, quite humble/simple), and have more time for family and the community. Perhaps it is possible to make distinctions, and perhaps we ought to engage them with the care of nuance needed to allow the distinctions to serve as helpful guides.


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