Millennials showing another hint of Mature-like behavior

Posted On June 11, 2013

One of the core theories in generational management is that generational norms exist based largely in response to the world environment during a group’s formative years.  For the older half of the millennial generation (those currently 18 – 34) the rollercoaster economy seems to be making its mark.

According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, Millennials are more cautious about debt than is typically expected of twenty somethings. In fact, in the past 12 years, the average debt in young households was reduced by almost half.

I was especially interested in the author’s comment that this behavior is very similar to that of an earlier generation – the Matures, who came of age in the Great Depression.  When Millennials first started joining the workforce, I advocated matching them up with Matures as they had similar mindsets for service.  Now we are seeing another area where their generational personalities have a tendency to overlap – not a mirror, but a definite meshing.  Even as this group is called the most narcissistic and the Matures were focused on sacrifice – two seemingly disparate characteristics.

While most Matures retired over a decade ago, there is still something to the notion that the youngest and the oldest in the workforce may have more in common than appears on the surface. And when struggling with differing work ethics and professional styles, finding the commonalities outside the workplace is a great place to start.

Does this mean Xers will be matched well with the next generation that enters the workforce or will they have to wait another generation to find their kindred spirits?

Categories: Generations, Matures, Recession Economy