劳伦•斯蒂勒•瑞克林成，对于出生于1978年到2000年的千禧一代，经理人不免把自己当年身为新员工的行为举止和年轻员工的态度相比较，他们迟早会提到“自以为是”这个词。劳伦•斯蒂勒•瑞克林是研究跨代问题的专家，最近为波士顿学院工作和家庭中心（Boston College Center for Work and Family）撰写了千禧一代领导力的报告。
If you want to liven up a group of senior managers, raise the topic of the youngest employees in the workforce. Suddenly, the conversation turns animated, with strong opinions on everything from their flip-flops to their conversational style. "They are always multitasking," managers complain. "And why do they need so much feedback? Can't they just figure it out?"
Sooner or later, the word "entitled" is bound to come up, as executives compare the way they behaved as new workers with the attitudes of the Millennial Generation, those employees born between 1978 and 2000, says Lauren Stiller Rikleen, an inter-generational consultant and author of a new report on Millennial leadership for the Boston College Center for Work and Family.
In a recent poll of 637 working Americans published by consultant Workplace Solutions, 68% said that they felt that Millennials were less motivated to assume responsibilities and produce good work than their older counterparts.
"There's a significant disconnect in the workplace regarding how managers perceive the motivation and work ethic of Millennials," Rikleen says. "But this is much more of a communication gap than a generation gap."
When employers first identified this issue and began talking about dealing with different generations in the workplace, managers could easily have felt that their young employees were too precious to upset with frank talk and had to be handled with kid gloves. But increasingly, companies are expecting both managers and Millennials to compromise on their communication styles and work habits, with a goal of meeting somewhere in the middle.
Organizations are also setting up programs to ensure that Millennials learn how to behave and succeed in the workplace -- all designed on structures familiar to a generation that progressed from preschool playgroups to soccer teams and study groups in college.
The Boston College report identifies a number of companies that are designing networks, programs, and training opportunities around the unique characteristics of Generation Y. For instance, Deloitte runs regional Gen Y councils that provide feedback to senior leaders as well as networking opportunities. A recent Deloitte summit brought together all the councils and senior management to focus on bridging communication gaps and creating an online community with resources for the next generation of leaders.