The challenge of engaging the next generation

The challenge of engaging the next generation

My partner and I have five siblings between us (oldest 28 youngest 20). It is really interesting to observe their behaviour. When they all get together there is a lot of talking but not much listening. Electronic gizmos abound all usually being used as they speak. The most interesting observation is that they all appear to live for the moment, what is happening in the here and now is how they live their lives, there appears to be no tomorrow. Crisis abounds, someone has usually lost something or because they haven’t thought an issue though it comes back to hit them. We are now keeping what we call a crisis diary and will reveal all to them at Christmas Dinner.

It then makes me think, how do we engage this generation at work? The usual theories of having the leadership style that will inspire and create vision I don’t think would resonate with this age group.

However, what I do know is that they are all extremely computer and social media literate.

We run many of our workshops in hotels. When I look at the staff in these venues who are usually carrying plates to our table, I wonder if the owners actually understand the potential they have under their roof that could assist them improve their marketing and social media presence, and even more important in the summer when they employ seasonal students from around the world.

My challenge is…

When was the last time you brought this age group together to help you solve a problem using their perspective. You might be pleasantly surprised at the outcome and how they become engaged.

I was telling my story to a friend and he told me about his experience with his siblings at Christmas last year when all the family came back for the holiday.

On the first night they had a lot of snow and this was followed by a power cut that lasted five days. He said that the place turned into a mental hospital as no one could leave and of course they had no access to their electronic equipment. The days of sitting round the table and playing Monopoly with a group with a limited attention span are long gone.

 

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Image Sebastiaan ter Burg
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