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Hey, just read an article that said we should constantly reward our "Millenial" new hires in order to retain them (and their high-tech abilities) because they are from the generation of children who received trophies just for showing up at games and were made to feel "special" at every opportunity.  The article also said Millenials  want their managers to "coach" them and not "boss" them.

Is this special treatment something HR should buy into or should we expect Millenials to adapt to the workplace as it is and risk them leaving after a few months?


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  • This is an issue we are deling with as media is a very "young" workplace.  We have had a great deal of training and invested time in teaching managers to coach employees and have a more participative environment.  Unfortunately, this generations' parents did them a disservice by fighting their battles for them and fixing their mistakes.  In fact, in a former position, I had one candidate's father call me to ask why his son didn't get the job.   Millenials are very used to having things done for them.   Like any behavior, you cannot change it all at once, but it can be modified.  If they are given clear expectations, and are regularly acclimatized to the culture of your business, you will find it is much easier to work with them.
  • I've read similar articles addressing this topic and can't help but chuckle.  It is amazing (and frustrating) what some people 'expect' nowadays.
  • More and more frequently as time goes on, I get calls from parents and even spouses about work related issues.  They seem genuinely miffed when I tell them that I can't discuss workplaces issues about an employee with a non-employee.  I recall one person calling about his daughter who rebutted me by saying that he was her father and that was reason enough.  I pointed out that, for all I knew, he was her stalker and not her father and that was reason enough, despite all the other legal and ethical barriers not to discuss anything with him.

    I've always taken a collaborative approach in my management style and I always prefer addressing solutions before getting into accountability but non-performance alwas results in accountability being addressed.

  • TXHRGuy - I have had similiar situations.  One that comes to mind is when the wife of one of my employees called asking specific questions about her husbands' compensation plan, benefits, etc.  I don't give out information to non-employees, in fact all employment verifications must be submitted to me in writing and have a release attached, and then I will only answer certain questions.  I knew something was right so I told her I couldn't give her any information.  She went on a 5 minute tyraid about how she was his wife, she was entitled to this information and I had better give it to her.   I promptly and politely ended the conversation at that point.  I then went and talked to the employee.  His first words were "You didn't give it to her did you."  I said no.  He explained that they were starting to go through a divorce, that was quickly becoming very ugly and wanted the information for her gain.  He had told her that if she needed the information her lawyer could request it. 

    Anyways, back to the original topic.  I have seen a few of these articles as well.  The one thing we have been quite successful at is mentoring these younger employees in regards to workplace etiquette, responsibilities, etc.  We want to make sure that they understand that they are accountable for their actions and for getting their job done.  My company does do a good job of public recognition (things like service awards, praising someone for a job well done, etc.) which is something this younger crowd likes. 

  • One caveat that I will mention - I will answer benefit questions to a spouse IF the spouse is on the plan.  But even then, they are general questions such as "I've lost my insurance card, how do I get another one", "what is the website address to get a claim form", etc.
  • I will also answer those general questions for spouses.  I also have a few of our employees who ask me to explain the benefit packages to their spouses since most times the wife has specific questions that they don’t think of asking.  Explaining the plan does not seem like a breach of confidently to me as it is published information.  I do agree though that divulging comp specific etc would fall into the category. 


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