4 ways millennials and older employees can learn from each other

By Sanjana Dayanidhi|25th Nov 2016
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A diverse workspace not only creates an atmosphere of ingenuity, it is also functions as a platform for mutual learning. Today, companies are set on hiring from the generation popularly referred to as millennials, so that they can use their resourcefulness to keep the former up to date with the changing trends and traditions. However, at the same time they require the older generation of workers to train these millennials in the ways of the company so that they can incorporate the trends into the base itself.

Image : shutterstock

Image : shutterstock

Simply put, millennials and their older counterparts have a treasure-trove of tips they can offer one another to help each get better at their job. According to American Psychology Association's Journal of Applied Psychology, older workers generally exhibit greater general knowledge and wisdom compared to their younger counterparts, who are more adept at thinking on their feet and constantly changing processes.

However, this is a broad statement, and there are more than a few things both sets of workers can learn from each other. For instance:

Moderating work

With the rising interest in entrepreneurship and a desire to ‘aim for the stars’, millennials often take on more work than they can chew. Consequently, their deadlines catch up with them thanks to poor time management. Naturally, they don’t deliver up to their potential, because they don’t know how to balance their work out. According to the Harvard Business Review, those over the age of 40 believe they are more able to control their work than those under 40. It says that millennials can learn from older employees, who, through the years, have now realised when to push back on the demands of others and when to accept demands and take on the right amount of work.

At the same time, the idealistic passion and relentless enthusiasm of the millennials should be echoed by the older generation, many of whom have made their work so routine that they’ve forgotten why they took up their careers in the first place.

The right kind of technology

The older generation probably understands coding and software much better than millennials do, considering that the latter has worked with considerably less technology than what is available today. However, there is one aspect where the millennials are pros – social media and digital networking. Almost every millennial today has a Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn profile through which they branch out to others and get their work recognised fast. Millennials can thus use teach their older counterparts the tricks of the social media networking game and keep them up to date with changing trends.

Managing finances

Millennials today blow up more money than they earn on things they don’t need because the market is shifting in its consumer-based trends. What older individuals probably consider a ‘luxury’ is what millennials will deem a ‘necessity’. As a result, the latter has little idea about managing their finances and procuring savings for the longer run. Millennials stand to benefit from the financial advice of more seasoned professionals. In turn, millennials can encourage their older counterparts to spend on essential technology and devices that could ease their job by a mile. They can also provide them with information on the markets for cheaper goods that have released recently, and how they can buy more for less.

Job-hopping

Although millennials are notorious for job-hopping and often criticised for this, the truth is that more often than not, it works in their favour. They search for opportunities where they think they can maximise their potential and thus try their luck in different places before settling in one. Many older workers have stuck onto a single company for a large chunk of their careers for various reasons – job security, fewer options at the time of joining, and more. However, there’s always a possibility that after a point, their work becomes mechanical, stagnating their professional growth. Although they could use their years’ worth of experience to guide their younger counterparts in the realms of professional stability, the latter can encourage them to discover their maximum potential through experimentation as well.

Through this and much more, both millennials and older employees can share their greatest traits. Together, they can make a formidable task-force and powerful team and achieving great heights.