Every generation has complaints about the next. In every era, parents, teachers, employers, and almost everyone older tried their best to crack a code to create obedience. The older generation seems to have the guidelines on how to go about life. Interestingly, the younger generation has always questioned these so-called guidelines.
One of my colleague's father used to say that, humans, as species are still evolving, and I agreed with him. Problems of older generations have been solved by the next generations, always. And it is because some people in the next generation had the courage to demonstrate the solution.
Stereotyping generations might not be the right way of dealing with younger generations. Did you not find a lazy couch potato in your age group? Don't you know anyone in the older generation who is also lazy? Truth is every generation has its challenges that the previous generation never had.
Younger generations today, are coming forward and demanding a new workplace. They have seen their parent's way of work and life, and probably they don't want to live like their parents. Only doing hard work is not enough; knowing where to put your heart and mind is equally important.
In my parent's generation, I have seen them work hard to run the family and make sacrifices to fulfill the demands of life. Today, they have nothing to do, besides taking pills and watching TV. Is this how life is supposed to be? So, it is natural for the younger generation to find a better way to lead life instead of only working for money. They want to live a life of purpose and believe, that will shape their experience of life.
Today's jobs are unlike the ones people had earlier. The education system has been reactive to the demands of the market. As a new batch gets placed into an organisation, they have an uphill and daunting task to quickly understand what they need to do and how to do it and meet expectations - spoken and unspoken ones.
The workplaces, nowadays, are highly demanding, and younger employees have to learn and work at the same time. How can one do all these tasks within the 9-5 working hours? There’s unlimited pressure from the customer, manager, family, and all at the same time. Meeting all these expectations is putting unwanted pressure on the younger generation.
All the generations have peer pressure, but the peer pressure of today is far more significant and troublesome - thanks to social media. Bullying has also evolved into cyber-bullying. Nearly 1 in 5 students have been affected by it. You can't just ask them to stop using social media.
In my experience, I have come across many brilliant minds, and many are working in my organisation. They are academically excellent but emotionally fragile, and it is not their fault. They have just claimed their freedom and to get that freedom, they had to leave their family and move to new cities. But their freedom came with a price.
Who's going to make the food? Where can they stay? Can they afford the right place? Tell me a school and education program that they have attended to deal with this new world? Is there any heartache school, because they are dealing with the issue of acceptance and rejections? A student coming from a smaller town is finding it difficult to find acceptance amongst their city peer group.
Parents continuously follow up with their children on their whereabouts. They are asking them to save money and go home early. Children have no choice but to lie. Yes, all parents are worried about the safety of their children, it’s only natural, but either parent should evolve themselves and understand the new age challenges, or trust their parenting. Honestly, parents do not have any clue about their children.
Society needs to evolve if they want to stop the rising rate of suicides amongst the younger generation. We all need to learn a new language that connects with them. Instead of asking how much you earn, ask what you have been pursuing passionately, and you will see they will open up. Stop comparing one person with another. At work, don't give them a list of tasks, involve them in the purpose, they are already scared of you, make them feel safe. Treat them like your family and accept their mistakes. Teach them how to deal with work and life. Create training programs not only for delivering work, but also soft skills and how to gain emotional intelligence. Ask for commitment instead of performance.
If you wish to create a workplace of the future, connect with me at firstname.lastname@example.org