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Tech-savvy college hires bring integration, communication challenges to IT workplaces

Fred O'Connor | June 6, 2013
Training methods tailored to the latest generation of IT workers help ease the transition.

"You don't expect that they do a lot of listening as a generation, but that's what sets them apart," she said. "They're thoughtful with respect to the response. It's also thoughtful listening and reasoning as to why something should be or could be different."

For managers who listen to the suggestions of their greener staff, the payoff can be improved products. This was the case at Black Duck after a manager from the baby boom generation set aside his skepticism about the ideas two younger employees pitched him.

"Two years later, he's embraced many of the changes they've suggested to the user interface," Pirri said. "They've changed his perception of all the questions and understanding of why things are done and impacted him in a positive way."

Managers who label younger workers as entitled may not understand how this generation operates, said Modis' Cullen. Having unstructured working habits doesn't mean they're less productive employees.

"When you hear back from managers who haven't experienced the millennials they're very challenged by them," he said. "Some people are used to working in a more rigid fashion where this group is a little more free spirited. It's unfair to think they're not up to accepting the task and the deadlines that comes with it."

And the technology younger workers want -- mobile, sleek user interfaces, integrated data -- is also being demanded by enterprises so companies should heed the perspectives of their junior staff, said Bluewolf's Sklar.

"There's not a lot of tolerance for outdated, unintegrated, hard-to-use technology," she said. "Everybody wants it to be easier, integrated and visual. What's the alternative? Going back to old interfaces?"


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