Six Guidelines for Resolving Intergenerational Conflict
Tips on dealing with intergenerational conflict in the workplace.
I'm an avid fan of Montessori education, which focuses on helping children develop a lifelong love of learning, learning for its own sake. In Montessori, there are no gold stars, no blue ribbons to be won, no honor rolls-and hence no parents driving cars with bumper stickers saying "My child's an honor student at ..." There are no pizza parties for reading 100 books. If you read 100 books, you get to enjoy 100 books-and that's huge. Learning is a joy in and of itself.
So I read with interest this post by Marko Mrdjenovic, a Slovenian Web developer and a manager for Zemanta, a content-suggestion engine for bloggers and other content creators. He says he wrote a thesis on motivation and that understanding the difference between intrinsic (internally based) and extrinsic (externally based) motivation is important in hiring the right person. I would submit that it's also important in helping a job-seeker research a company and ask questions during an interview to determine whether a job would be a good cultural fit.
Of those with intrinsic motivation, Mrdjenovic writes:
We are motivated by the fact that we're getting something done and by the feeling we get ourselves when we're done. We're not in it so someone can tell us we did a good job. We don't really care. A friend of mine once said: "It's for me. If somebody else likes it-great." We like to think that the more we get into the subject, the better we'll be at it and the better the result. ...
He quotes from Wikipedia about extrinsic motivation:
Common extrinsic motivations are rewards like money and grades, coercion and threat of punishment. Competition is in general extrinsic because it encourages the performer to win and beat others, not to enjoy the intrinsic rewards of the activity.
This difference can be quite important as a new generation enters the workplace. These young workers, who have grown up with technology, tend to prize regular feedback from managers and recognition programs. And there's a generational divide there about the level of "managing" they require.
But as Lisa Orrell, author of the book "Millennials Incorporated," told Ann:
Managers need to step up their communication and availability for the younger generation, not only to help with morale and motivation but also with retention.
She says these young workers are very open to coaching, training and crave mentorship. And as Millennials move into management, they will be bringing more collaborative work practices with them based on social relationships.