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Agrimarketing : Agribusiness Employer Guide 2008
going to be communicating effec- tively when you are communicating with different generations,” he said. “Agood manager will recognize that, but the young person coming into the workforce also needs to fig- ure out how their boss communi- cates, and alter their way of commu- nicating to meet them half way.” Brcka belongs to the Baby Boomer generation and has experi- ence managing those from different generations. One of his employees, Jessica Drey, belongs to the Millen- nial generation. Drey is an account manager for the company and is the youngest staff member. Drey said it is challenging to work with those who have children around the same age as her. She said she understands how it would be difficult for a co-worker to take her ideas seri- ously, when they may be thinking “she’s young enough to be my child.” At times she has had to overcome the stereotypes that accompany the Millennial generation. “There are times when I feel as though other employees or man- agers think that I do not completely understand what is happening, because I don’t have the years of WORKPLACE CHARACTERISTICS Traditionalists Work Ethic & Values (1922 – 1945) Hard work Duty before fun Adhere to rules Communications Feedback and Rewards Formal Memo No news is good news Baby Boomers (1946 – 1964) Workaholics Respect authority Work efficiently Sacrifice Generation X (1965 – 1980) Eliminate the task Self-reliance Crusading causes Want structure and Personal fulfillment direction Desire quality Skeptical Question authority In person Don’t appreciate it Money Satisfaction in a job Title recognition well done Source: FDU Magazine Online(Winter/Spring 2005) experience that they possess,” Drey said. “But unlike many of the older generations, I have a fresh perspec- tive of new technologies and a wide variety of hands-on experiences that I had the opportunity to obtain dur- ing college.” Levit said this is common in many organizations. She said Millen- nials have a reputation that often precedes them. “Unfortunately early Millennials were accused of having a sense of entitlement and having things handed to them on silver platter,” Levit said. Brcka said that he has noticed the younger generations are more laid back and want to develop a healthy work/ life balance. He said this is very different from his generation who was taught to put work at the cen- ter point of their lives. So how does Drey work through these differences? She said it’s easier to overcome the stereo- types and gain sup- port if you are a dependable worker. “It’s important to work hard in order to earn the respect from other team members,” she said. “If you continue to prove yourself, your team members will gain confidence in your abilities and what you have to offer.” PROFESSIONAL PREPARATION Besides working diligently, Millenni- als can do other things to better transi- tion into the workforce. Levit said that Millennials should seek out a mentor who is just a couple of years older and a little further up on the ladder. She said those are the people who will be able to better-relate to the individual by sharing their recent experiences. Levit also advises Millennials to develop a “professional persona.” “In order to have a positive effect, you need to develop profes- sional verbal and written communi- cation skills,” she said. “Have a good attitude and sustain that attitude when faced with unfortunate cir- cumstances. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be yourself, but be a pro- fessional version of yourself.” Brcka agrees that professionalism will help Millennials be better received in the workplace. He also recommends learning how to take constructive criticism. “Millenials tend to be a little sen- sitive to feedback if it’s not 100% positive,” he said. “They have a ten- dency to take criticism personally and at some point they need to learn to value it.” Drey has learned to appreciate constructive criticism during her two years at PigCHAMP. She said she has learned to accept it and use it to make her better. “Be prepared to get feedback from a lot of different people,” Drey said. “You may not be pleased with it, but their input is going to be very valuable in making you the best you can be.” 9 Direct Immediate Millennials (1981 – 2000) What’s next Multitasking Tenacity Entrepreneurial Tolerant Goal-oriented E-mail Voice mail Sorry to interrupt, but Whenever I want it, how am I doing? Freedom is the best reward at the push of a button Meaningful work
May 2008 Supplement
Canadian Agribusiness Employer Guide 08