Reasons to adopt a Millennial mindset regardless of your age

With more generations now working side by side at the office, it's become common for older employees to experience a somewhat uncomfortable reality: answering to a younger boss.

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One third of US workers say their boss is younger than they are-and for fifteen percent that’s by at least ten years-according to a recent study done by CareerBuilder, which surveyed more than 6,000 people.

“It’s not uncommon to see 30-year-olds managing 50-year-olds,” said Rosemary Haefner, VP of HR at CareerBuilder.

It’s been well documented that this dynamic can lead to workplace tension.

But a key way to prevent that generational tension was highlighted by a quiz created by the Pew Research Center. The quiz, called “How Millennial Are You?” asks 14 questions to determine whether respondents, regardless of age, have what I call a Millennial Mindset, meaning just because you may be a Digital Immigrant (born after 1977) you need to become a Digital Native in your thinking.

Considering the power of Millennial thinking in avoiding workplace tension got me thinking about other ways tapping into the Millennial psyche is crucial to our careers. Here are three:

Millennials are not only our current and future employees (and bosses) but they are our current and future customers. Understanding their personal views will only help us thrive in our businesses.

Millennials will be roughly 50 percent of the U.S. workforce in 2020 and 75 percent of the global workforce by 2030. Their sheer size will force organizations to re-think many of their policies and practices such as training, (think mobile and social) vacation time, (focus on performance, not face time in the office) and commitment to global job rotations early in one’s career.

Millennial preferences using the latest social technologies and innovation to communicate and collaborate on-the-job. Millennials value the opportunity to share their ideas and creativity at work. In fact, the ability of an employer to provide ongoing opportunities to share openly and collaborate came up as the fourth most frequently mentioned criteria for seeking a best of breed employer after; workplace flexibility, compensation and career progression.

Author: Jeanne Meister