Can you imagine bashing someone of another race, religion or sexual orientation at work? I sure hope not. So why do some organizations sit by and allow their employees to bash persons based on their age?
Recently a team of Gen-Xers and Baby Boomers told me about a “problem employee” in their workplace. They went on to describe this employee’s behavior as unprofessional, overly emotional, reactive, and self-centered. When they offered examples to support these claims, I couldn’t help but agree that they certainly had a problem on their hands. But I was floored when one member of this team said, “You know, he’s the typical Millennial.” And then her boss nodded in agreement.
The behavior the team described was certainly concerning. Frankly, it sounded to me like the employee likely had traits consistent with an untreated personality disorder. But typical of a Millennial? No.
Millennials are simply a generation. Sure, as a demographic they may seek work-life balance, telecommuting options and change jobs more frequently than other generations. But they are most certainly not known to be destructive in the workplace.
If your organization is age-stereotyping—or worse, generation-bashing, what steps can you take today to be more inclusive? Better understanding generations at work offers many benefits including increased productivity, profits and morale.
Jennifer L. FitzPatrick – MSW, LCSW-C, CSP
The founder of Jenerations Health Education, Inc., Jennifer FitzPatrick has over 20 years’ experience in healthcare and gerontology. The author of Cruising Through Caregiving: Reducing The Stress of Caring For Your Loved One, she is also a gerontology instructor at Johns Hopkins University and an Education Consultant to the Alzheimer’s Association. She helps you reduce stress and increase productivity, morale and revenue. Jennifer and Cruising Through Caregiving have been featured in Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, The Huffington Post, Reader’s Digest, Univision and The Chicago Tribune. She has also appeared on ABC and Sirius XM.