Stop Blaming the Millennials

millenials with mobile phones

For the last couple of years, it’s been a trend among the Baby Boomer generation to mock Millennials. Endless comments about how they’re lazy, entitled, ‘the generation that needs safe spaces,’ etc. Many insults have been hurled at Millennials but they certainly didn’t take it sitting down, at least not when it came to the twitter war sparked by #HowToConfuseAMillenial. What started out as a way for Baby Boomers and others to levy insults and ‘witty’ barbs turned against them shortly after Millennials started using the hashtag in sarcastic and ironic ways.

That right there should illustrate that while they have no problem fighting back, we’re the problem—not them.

It’s not cool to bash Millennials for doing their part or making the choices they have to make. The political, social, and economic climates were very different for previous generations, which means many of us are simply fixed in our ways. We can’t immediately see that perhaps they (Millennials) may have better ideas or ways of handling a situation—especially in the workplace. (But we’ve always done it that way…admit it – you hate that phrase!)

Being from an older generation, it’s our responsibility to coach and mentor them. To teach them what we know so they can develop their own wisdom and insights, to improve things. Our goal shouldn’t be to make their lives like ours were because that’s just not going to happen. The job market, the government, and everything else about our lives today is simply too different than it was ten, twenty, or thirty years ago. Times are definitely changing and the Millennials are the manifestation of that change. They’ve become a driving force behind political, environmental, and social change for the better. And – that’s a good thing!

It’s time we gave credit where credit is due, and start working with them.

Why we need to lead Millennials

If we spend all our time making fun of them, we’re not helping them. We’re not encouraging their creativity, problem-solving skills, or desire to see the world—or even the office—become a better place.

Our best bet will be to offer them what we know and mentor them. Let them use what we know to their advantage and to the betterment of others. We want to set a better example for the younger generations than we are now. There’s no sense in trying to blame and point fingers, or trying to compare their lives to ours. We might as well have grown up on different planets because the differences between our youth and theirs are vast.

We might have worked harder, but they certainly work smarter. We’re effectively in an age where efficiency and streamlined processes are the goal, and through advances in technology (many of which Millennials are responsible for or are currently experts in) jobs are taking on new shapes every day. We need their help to keep up with the changing times because they’ve spent the most time using and learning about the things many of us are still only figuring out.

How many Baby Boomers have you seen struggle with smartphones, social media, or even Google? I’ve seen enough to know we have as much to learn from them as they do from us, so we might as well get on the same page and start working together.

Bashing Millennials is old news

The joke is tired at this point, and wasting more effort on the comparisons and insults is only making us worse off.

The next time you get the idea to crack a joke at their expense, educate yourself on how important Millennials are and how much they’ve had to work just to get a modicum of the creature comforts many of us take for granted. For truly #DramaFreeHR, get with the Millennials and pick on a different group like Gen Z. At least that way you’ll be working together instead of against one another.

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