Let's say you're a young employee working in an entry-level position. You haven't been working very long, but you no longer feel challenged. This might cause you to jump the gun on requesting a promotion, or to begin job searching. You might see your job-hopping as opportunistic, but older workers probably view it as disloyalty.
According to Rikleen, "millennials measure respect by being heard," while older workers measure respect with experience and longevity. "Millennials [also] expect to develop and move up faster. But what's interesting, however, is that data shows that millennials that felt needed and wanted in their workplace were less antsy [to receive promotions or leave]."
What millennials should do: Subdue the wanderlust you might be feeling. Schawbel says you should aim to work at your first job for at least a year and a half. Ask for new projects, not a promotion, then use that experience to bolster your worth to your current and future employers.
What older managers should do: Be as transparent as possible with your colleagues on how their responsibilities contribute to larger goals. Invite younger employees to brainstorming sessions.
Here are a few additional tips for lessening the frustration and miscommunication between generations of workers:
Managers should … embrace training and development. "Another expectation that millennials bring to the workplace is that they'll have the opportunity for training and development," Rikleen says. "But that can be very shoddy from workplace to workplace."
Millennials should … embrace face time. According to Rikleen, Gen-Y workers "really need to better understand how to communicate with other generations. Informal emails, text messages, and IMs don't always reflect well on a young professional. Face time isn't an annoyance, but a way of getting to know people."
All generations should … avoid the intern-hiring solution. Employers should see intern opportunities as training, and not as a guaranteed gateway into full-time employment with a company. Kerry Chou, senior practice leader with the World at Work, says, "I think internships serve a valuable purpose when they are administered in the spirit in which they're intended."
Schawbel says: "For internships, grab as many as you can. Do two internships in one semester. An internship is not going to turn into a job anymore. It's rare."