They are impatient, volatile, creative, optimistic, technological, selfish, prepared… We can hear all this adjectives when talking about the last generation incorporated in the labour market: the Y Generation or Millennial.
As it happens in all families, the labour market is composed by several generations, each different from the other, as they are all born in a particular time, to which we all are conditioned. As the Spanish philosopher Ortega y Gasset said “I am I and my circumstances”, so only few pioneers or visionaries can avoid this fact.
Therefore, besides the “professional gap” that may happen when a worker join a Company, there is also a most drastic gap, known as generational gap.
We have all suffered both problems when facing our first days- or even our first months- at a new job. We will all remember this day when we just graduated and left college, where we use to go in sneakers, with an almost empty bag, confortable clothes and usually only for a couple of hours (if it the classes where important for the final mark or the lecturer was motivating) and started going to work adapting ourselves to a more severe dress code, wearing dresses and high-heels or suits.
First impressions full of formality, discipline, seriousness, hierarchy… “I’ve never studied this in the degree”… We are facing the first gap, the professional one.
Nevertheless, each new professional entering itself to the working world has suffered from this process. It will, as well, keep on happening as far as Universities tend to stay away from Companies. Nevertheless, we are going to focus on another different gap which is trendier than ever.
It has to do with the generational gap that occurs when a person of a younger generation enters in the labour market and try to adapt to the Company, where other people from previous generations already work.
The arrival of Millennial and with them of the digitalization of the working system has originated the biggest generational gap of last times. This is mainly due to the different approach of information that each generation had had.
Previous generations are used to get good results through hard work and effort, while the Y (Millennial) act as everything will came after a click: by being agile with words and searching well in Google, everything is possible. Internet is, at last, the most revolutionary tool for the working world of all times.
This is the way in which polemics start: new incorporations bets for immediate results, professional recognition and growth and for the constant use of TICs, while other workers need more effort, dedication and commitment of the new incorporations, as well as they are not so familiarized with new technologies.
We are though in the gap that some companies are facing since millennial people have entered in the board, a topic very exploited in business-related essays.
What can we do to this respect? Do we assume this gap as a recurrent fact of life? Do we wait for the new professional adapting to the working life? Do we forget about the TICS or do we adapt gradually to them, slowing the business growth? Do we assume all at once the use of new technologies and forget everything else?
Some weeks ago, Psicotec’s CEO, Mª Luisa Riobóo and me attended a conference in Universidad Rey Juan Carlos for future workers, knowing as Generation Z, where we try to make them part of this phenomenon and ask them to give us feedback as future implicated part of this gap in the years to come.
At the same time, people from other generations attended the conference, as the Innovation Manager in EULEN, Ricardo Gabarró. After the debate, we can effectively check that the way to face job depends, in great traits, to the time you have to live. Nevertheless, the fact to add knowledge and values thanks to other generations enrich us and help us to be better professionals.
So, what are companies looking for? If they are looking for efficiency and progress, they need to pursuit the aim of having a team as productive as possible. But do we really try our best to achieve this goal?
To sum up, these generations – millennial, generation Y- are the future, the idea must be to get them formed in the company philosophy by the senior members of it. At the same time, they will help these more senior profiles to know new technologies tools, assuring that everyone has it part in the Company, which will be reinforced and updated. We need, though, to ask if companies are doing enough to enforce this integrating strategy. And wonder if us, as workers, are willing to train and be trained by other people, either with more or less seniority.
Hay que pensar que no sólo somos distintas generaciones, sino que cada uno de nosotros aportamos un valor añadido. Esto es vital para entender ese bi-mentoring que ayuda a implementar nuevas estrategias que potencian la consecución del objetivo marcado por las organizaciones. No hablamos en futuro, ya está pasando.
We are not only different generations, but we bring and added value to the Company. This is crucial to understand this bimentoring which can help to implement new strategies to achieve companies’ goals. We are no longer talking about the future: it is the present, and it is here.
Patricia Sánchez, Junior and Millennial Consultant in Psicotec.
Monday, 4th April 2016