“The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.”
470 BC – 399 BC
Sounds familiar? Even from way back then the younger generation have been a challenging the older generation. Millennials are no exception and have all been dumped in one big basket and categories as one, often touted as having “too much smashed avocado”. While Millennials have grown up with privilege’s that previous generations went without, it is the roll of the youth to find new direction, create new paths and shake things up. In the past few months, I have come across the question more time that I can count on “how do we employ and communicate with millennials”.
Before we dump them all into one bunch of lazy, unappreciative mob (yep – I’ve heard that too!), working with Millennials isn’t all that hard and they do work differently. Their focus is different. They take a task at hand and focus on how to get the job done as quickly as possible. They like to work in teams and utilise technology (which they are also super-fast with!). They appreciate a work-life balance, rest and fun is considered essential for productivity.
Personally, I love a mixed generation workforce. You have the experienced baby boomers or Gen X, who have worked hard for what they’ve got and in turn have years of experience. Pair that with the energy and passion of youth and you have an inevitably strong and balanced team. Both sides have their strengths and weakness and both sides have something to learn. In an ever changing, fast paced world, millennials adapt quickly to changes in technology something the older generations in the workforce often scramble to grasp. It’s a win-win from both sides.
So why are we talking about millennials? Because Coffs Harbour needs it’s youth. Employing millennials is vital for the economic stability and long-term growth of the Coffs Coast region. We need the vibrant game changers, the risk takers and energy that comes with youth in our work force. They are our coffee makers, cocktail shakers and hospitality essentials. Coffs Harbour is a tourist town. We need the millennials to fill areas of our work force to create a balance in our community, plus the retail and hospitality positions are a fantastic starting point for those entering the workforce for the first time.
The Coffs Coast region also needs to be able to offer long-term, sustainable employment so they don’t feel they need to move to the big cities to get a well-paying job. There is concern that there isn’t enough jobs for them, and there is not enough incentive for them to stay in the area. Right now, and if we’re not careful, we could find ourselves with an aging population and a nick name of being “god’s waiting room”. It is common for the youth of Coffs Harbour to leave, whether it’s travel or university, they head off in their 20’s to explore the world. Now, quite a few of us (myself included), return to settle in our home town.