Another update from the Jungle…
Robyn is the newest employee and she’s super excited about her new job. She was relieved to get a job offer because she was afraid she had blown the interview by exclaiming “Awesome!” too often. More importantly, her student loan grace period was expiring.
Of course, there is a downside to being the only millennial in the office. The first time she mentioned Instagram, an absolutely ancient co-worker, Clay, reminisced about his Kodak Instamatic camera. They stared blankly at each other across a technical gap much wider than the difference in their ages.
When Clay realized that Robyn wouldn’t burst out laughing, as his grandchildren often do, he began pelting her with questions. A crowd gathered as Robyn gave him a tutorial on the social media apps his grandchildren talk about. Finally, Clay leaned back in his seat, sighed, and admitted he was glad that he’d soon be old enough to retire and not worry about all this tech stuff.
Arlene, in the next-door cubicle, confided that she is addicted to Facebook. Robyn bottled up her giggles, almost bursting an eardrum, because her mother taught her to be polite to her elders. Robyn rarely checks Facebook anymore; it’s so yesterday.
Word has spread that Robyn can fix things. Every day, she fixes the digital display of someone’s smartphone. At least once a week, Clay asks her to fix his laptop. Clay never learned to type and he has thick fingers. Consequently, he often hits the wrong key. After the third or fourth “damn,” he bangs away at the keyboard until the laptop freezes up. That’s when he yells over the cubicle wall to Robyn.
Robyn has technical challenges too. She is embarrassed by the company’s outdated website and is desperate to upgrade it before her friends notice. She’s also volunteered to do daily social media posts after realizing the company does zero internet-based marketing. The HR manager knows that Robyn is getting frustrated and is desperate to keep her with the company.
How can the HR manager help Robyn?
- She can ensure that she has first dibs on Robyn’s technical help because she also has trouble with her smart phone apps.
- She can encourage Robyn to develop a side business as a social media consultant.
- She can urge the company owner to create a new digital marketing position for Robyn which will also help the company’s bottom line.
The above scenario represents countless workplaces these days as millennials begin exerting their influence. HR can help integrate millennials by updating job descriptions to reflect the new technical skills needed in the workplace and by including them in succession planning.
If your company is struggling with HR issues, Corporate Compliance Risk Advisor can help you create HR policies that are appropriate for your company’s size and then serve as a resource to your staff as the policies are implemented.
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