NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Although the most common discussions around Millennials and Baby Boomers in the workplace often involve phrases such as "bridging the gap" or “coping with differences,” these two generations may not be as dissimilar as we’ve been led to believe. Here’s a look at three reasons the Millennial worker and Boomer worker may be more similar than we give them credit for.
1. They both want to be heard and respected.
We hear that Gen Y has been praised a little too much, brought up with an "everyone gets a trophy" mindset, but it’s human nature to want recognition for a job well done, says Paul McDonald, senior executive director at staffing firm Robert Half.
“Millennials grew up in a time that was more inclusionary — everyone could make the team. With Boomers, if you didn’t make the team, you had to deal with that,” McDonald says. “But that doesn’t change the fact that they both want recognition for their work. Boomers have made a lot of contributions throughout their career and they don’t want to be forgotten. It’s no different.”
When getting recognition, a Boomer might be happy with a small mention in a company memo or brief applause in a meeting, while a Millennial might prefer a shout-out on Twitter or praise on LinkedIn. In either case, the desire for recognition is the same.
“Everyone likes to be heard,” McDonald says. “It all goes back to wanting respect and wanting to feel valued. The different generations have different communication styles, but their desires are the same.”