I have asked this question to so many people. I have a huge social circle of Millennial friends, their friend’s friends and family. I always ask them a very basic question, “What did you today at work?”.
I always ask that question after a person’s first day at work. And the worst I answer I hear is “Nothing!”
The manager, mentors and the company have spent a significant amount of time trying to recruit this new intern/entry level employee. The recruiter and manager were nervously waiting for the potential employee to accept the offer. The company then prepared a very good orientation for their new hire, but then what.
After lunch the first day, the new hire sits on his desk and asks his/her manager or mentor for what to do. And that’s usually where people are not usually prepared. They usually throw you a book, a training manual or a presentation to watch and tell you to watch it. 3PM comes and your manager/mentor tells you it’s okay to leave for the day.
BUT IT’S NOT.
I am going to highlight some of the problems I see both from both the Millennial and the Company’s point of view and the underlying reasons
As a Millennial, when you are given a training manual, a presentation, videos to watch or a book to read. Read that book, follow that manual, do that presentation. As a super tech savvy, we think that we can actually look up that info the minute we need it. But your employer feels that you need to know this information to succeed, so gain that information.
As an employee, you need to engage your Millennial employees better. People learn better by doing than just reading. Specifically, the young Millennial wanted a job to get more hands-on experience. So engage your employees. Make sure your new hire Millennial gets started on a project on day 1. Make sure they are actually doing something. If you are giving them a book to read, make sure they can use that knowledge that day or the next day.
“So what did you do at work today?” NOTHING STILL?!
I have seen this reply with so many interns (at many companies) and new hires in different fields and different companies. Sometimes the engagement problem persists for days, weeks and months. It will be a topic of a future article so stay tuned for that.
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