What is it with these kids?

A Generational Insight into Student
Workers and Customers
What is the Millennial Generation?
Work Ethic
Millennial Customers
The Next Generation
Sean McLane
Worked at Purdue University since August 1997
Has been studying toward a BS in OLS for three
Is a part of Generation X
What is it?
A group of people who were born at about the
same time.
Baby Boom – 1946-1964
Generation X – 1965-1981
Millennials – 1982-1995
Digital Natives – 1996-~2010
Generational trends are NOT a guarantee of a
particular behavior. Just a generalization
Experienced greatest development of childprotection technology ever
Were coddled and protected as a result
Given trophies for finishing in eighth place
Have been told they can do anything… and they
believe it!
A generation of achievers that doesn’t know the
meaning of failure
They have a strong collaborative mindset
Function well in teams
Embrace group projects
Think outside the box
Celebrate Diversity
Nearly as large a population as the Baby Boomers
Watched the world transform from analog to
Music went from cassettes to CDs to MP3s
Telephone went wireless, then became smart
Now phones can send text messages
listen to music
watch movies
sometimes even make phone calls
World Wide Web came into being
Internet is key part of the life of a Millennial
If the information is there, why not use it?
Can’t I just pay them? Isn’t money good enough?
Baby Boomers value public praise.
Generation X likes salary increase and more time
Millennials not only want praise, they expect it
Being given more work is a reward
They are eager to please and contribute to
group success
Frequent communication is very appreciated
Do they have one?
Of course they do
Millennial view of the work environment is
different from previous generations, but that
does not mean they have a poor work ethic
Forcing Millennials to standards held by Baby
Boomers and Generation Xers may cause
dissatisfaction and make them leave
Policy changes that don’t affect performance can
make a big difference
So what do Millennials value?
Pay check, of course
Flexible work schedule
Friendly, encouraging work environment
Ethical leaders and mentors
Clear expectations
Give them goals to attain and exceed
They want to learn new skills and apply them
to the job
Don’t they have a short attention span?
Millennials like to multitask, doing many things
at once
Some willing to work very long shifts
Excellent in peer-to-peer communications
Like to work in groups, though not necessarily
Communication with older generations can be
Face-to-face meetings can be considered boring
(especially if they aren’t allowed to text )
Focusing on just one task is a drudge
Gen X can help bridge communication gap
Communication is a forte of the Millennial
They are used to quick responses
May become impatient if they do not receive an
instantaneous reply
They will tend to be polite and upbeat
Don’t talk down to them
They wish to be considered intellectual peers
May not know as much as elders… yet
…but they’re eager to learn!
Use positive action verbs and direct speech
Millennials are doers, and this will motivate
How should Millennial customers be handled?
Communication is key
Consider methods other than the phone
Message boards
Keep self-help pages up to date
Obsolete information will be noticed, though
Millennials may try to offer suggestions
Keep communications brief
Over 140 characters may lead to tl;dr
Respond promptly
Provide updates and progress reports
Be respectful – show that you value their time
Next Generation is getting ready to arrive on the
University scene
Generation Z, Generation I, or Digital Natives
Grew up with Internet constantly in their lives
Parents even more protective
Helicopter Moms
Likely to be even more self-entitled than
Even more immersed in Information Technology
Texting since they were toddlers
Have had cell phones since grade school
Have a question? Check the Web
What trends will they exhibit?
They will probably have a lot of similarities to
Millennials… but several differences as well.