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Managing the Millennials, 2nd Edition by Mick Ukleja, Chip Espinoza

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Chapter 4The Points of Tension between Managers and Millennials

The Millennials are coming of age in unprecedented numbers. They are bringing with them both a facility and comfort with cutting-edge technologies—both communication and computing. As each generation moves into the workforce, and eventually into positions of power and influence in society, they begin to make demands on the nation's various institutions to change. They push for accommodation to their beliefs and values. The larger the generation, the more clout it has. The Millennials, because of their sheer numbers, are in the process of making those demands on the United States in general and on managers in particular. The relationship of managers with Millennials is the focus of our study.

We have discovered that there is a fundamental disconnect between managers and Millennials. The disconnect has led to organizational tension, less-than-full engagement on the part of Millennials, and misdirected effort by managers. This has led to unforeseen frustrations making it almost impossible for managerial leaders to identify disconnects and discover solutions. When managers properly identify the points of tension, disconnects can be reframed as opportunities to connect and build trust rather than discord—resulting in transforming points of tension into points of connection.

During our interviews, we were intrigued to find that both the good and challenged managers we spoke with experienced similar tensions in managing ...

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