More and more I’m hearing about the “Millennials;” those born between 1980 and 2000. I fit squarely in that range.
Millennials seem to be the target audience for home automation, some have noted them as the more “technological-savvy” generation. Now, the Millennials are entering the job market. At this year’s ESX I heard UCC’s Mike Lamb, and ADT’s Stephen Smith, share their observations on training this younger generation.
During Lamb and Smith’s ESX Panel, “Training for Central Station Operators,” I was—as a Millenial—quite alert, asking myself how each technique or perspective applied to me.
There were quite a few points that I could agree with and—imagining myself in the shoes of a prospective central station operator—would see a lot of value in. Though, there were other points where I differed in opinion.
Lamb said that Millenials like understanding the value in their work. That is certainly something I could agree with, and I don’t think Millenials are the only ones who could benefit from better grasping the value behind what they do.
Also, he had a point that, when given a task, Millenials might be more prone to ask “Why?” This isn’t a sign of disrespect, he said, but instead looking for more understanding.
I definitely agree with that. Approaching a task, I find it very useful to understand where my role or any action plays into the larger plan.
Lamb pointed out that Generation Y is the age of “participation trophies,” which, unfortunately, I can’t disagree with. Lamb had a point that this constant recognition given to many individuals in Generation Y is something to notice and enable in your central station employees; that they like to be recognized if and when they are doing things right. I can see how a little positive reinforcement would encourage confidence in a new employee. Though, I personally wouldn’t want to see this overdone, certainly not to the levels of participation trophies.
Lamb also had a point that younger generations occasionally struggle with professionalism, specifically in writing. An example he gave was with “twitter speak,” using “u” instead of “you,” “r” in place of “are” and so forth. This surprised me the most. Perhaps it is my writing experience separating me from the Generation Y pool of potential operators, but I have always found a professional writing style to be imperative. Lamb, and some of the attendees, said this is a problem of the generation.