Jo Protherough (Director, UK Oracle Practice, Hitachi Consulting EMEA Ltd) and¬†Peter Bricknall (IT Advisory team) – ‘Talking about my generation’ – Supporting sustainable engagement from the millennial generation.

Diversity is important and we learn a lot from other people, including those of a different generation. We looked at definitions of the silent majority, Baby Boomers, and then Generations X, Y, and Z with a suggestion that we can categorise different work ethics, leadership and communications styles, and differing attitudes to feedback and motivation.

We were encouraged to discuss the issues we face with engaging the millennial generation (Generation Y) at work and people raised challenges over pay expectations, ambition, and use of social media! We then heard from a consultant (born in 1982) who talked about his norm; being always connected across multiple devices (and expecting the same from the workplace), to be instant and social in collaboration, seeking a portfolio career, to be educated and continually learning, seeking variety, and to contribute and feel valued.

So, what impact does this have on HR? We were encourage to look beyond judging people for what they want and learn to swim ‘in their pond’. We need to review whether we have the right strategies for each generation, are we using the right levers and tools for each generation, do we have systems that provide flexible support.

(My own view is that understanding and responding to changing needs is important but that we need to be very cautious about over-labelling and over-simplifying. According to the normal definitions, it looks like I was born 15 years too early! Everything is changing, but not in a way that fits neatly into boxes).