Why? and Millennials

Millennials ask WHY all the time don’t they?

I find value in the characteristic of being asked why.  I also ask the question quite a bit myself and believe it is key in business.   The only challenge is when the person asking does not understand/accept the answer, even when the answer is accurate and comes from years of experience.  When this happens, I recommend putting that person in a situation where they can witness the why or even letting them them fail so that they can learn.   If not, they may start building up these scenarios in their memory log and leave the organization because they feel like they were not listened to.

A couple of other thoughts:

  • If the why question leads to an improvement to be made, we should always capitalize on those and recognize the person in a very positive way.   This makes them feel like they have made an impact and that is what they are seeking.
  • If how the person asks the why question is aggravating or too frequent, others will stop including them because they will see it as inefficient and non-productive to do so. If you have someone who acts in this way please SAVE THEM.  They just need some major mentoring in regards to their style.   They likely do not know they are coming across this way and you can make a big impact in their life by helping them correct it.

In our organization, more than 50% of our staff falls in this generation and I missed it by only 2 years.  The percentage of millennials in organizations is increasing each year and that will continue given that the youngest of the millennials is now 22 years old and they are still entering the workforce.    Given these statistics, organizations should like stop looking at the situation as “trying to understand millennials” and start thinking of it as “understanding themselves as an organization”