Managing Trophy Kids: Can’t We All Just Get Along?

by drjim on March 19, 2009

Trophy Kids Require Special Attention From IT Leaders

Trophy Kids Require Special Attention From IT Leaders

A lot has been written recently about the next generation of workers that is in the process of entering IT departments right now (I’ve done my part!) However, what’s been missing is a fundamental understanding of what an IT Leader is supposed to do once they are there.

Ron Alsop who writes for the Wall Street Journal has taken some time to study what this arrival means for all of us and he’s written a book with his answers in it called The Trophy Kids Grow Up: How the Millennial Generation is Shaking Up the Workplace. He’s got some suggestions on just how to go about managing this new type of IT worker.

One of the key differences between the millennials and the current workforce will be seen in company loyalty – it basically won’t exist. The millennials have high expectations about what a company should provide them with (rapid promotions, flexible work schedules, etc.), but firms should expect very little loyalty in return.

The current economic climate not withstanding, millennials will leave an unfufilling job in an instant. Most firms are aware of this and retention is high on their list of issues when it comes to dealing with this generation of workers.

You might be thinking that the trophy kids will stick around for the same reasons that most of today’s workers don’t leave: it’s scary out there without a job. However, you’d be wrong. The millenials have their parents to fall back on. They haven’t burned their bridges behind them and they know that they could always move back home for a bit if things get tight.

The good news here is that the millenials have been raised to work hard. Competition is in their blood. If a job engages them, then they will be willing to work hard at it. Firms have to show these new workers that their job will end up making a difference and that the company values their work.

Do you have millennials in your IT workplace (are you one of them)? How is is it going so far – smooth running or choppy waters? Do you feel that their (your) expectations are in line with what the company can offer? When the economy improves, do you think that they’ll stick around or will they leave? Leave me a comment and let me know what you are thinking.

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