Ready or not, here they come…

Posted On May 13, 2014

iGeneration. Yes, they are only just entering their teen years, but if time is flying as fast in your house as it is in mine, you’ll agree that this generation is just around the corner and headed soon to a workplace near you.  What are they going to bring the equation?

There has not been a lot of research yet on this generation, after all they aren’t even eligible for summer jobs in most states, but there has been an abundance of conversation about the way they are being raised.  If the study of the generations has taught me anything, it is that trends in parenting have a strong impact on generational norms.  The trouble with predicting how iGen will turn out is that there is no over-arching parenting style at play.  We aren’t even talking about two extremes (Tiger Mom vs. Attachment Parenting, for example).  No, iGen kids are being parented in nearly as many ways as there are parents.  Or perhaps social media just makes it feel that way.

One thing that is for certain – this is a generation that has lived its entire existence with mobile computing technology.  They don’t have to retain information, they just Google it.  For many, they have been social media stars since the day they were born, with every laugh, smile and pout captured and shared for the world to admire, chuckle or condemn. They are connected to a world well beyond their day to day interactions, and not shy about engaging in it.

In the workplace this may mean that efficiency is valued – they may seek the quickest way, but will that always be the best?  Boundaries may be unclear, or worse unheeded. On the other hand, they may be extreme collaborators – eager to bring together the best minds, regardless of location, in order to dream up the best solution.

What norms are you seeing evolve in the next generation of youth?  What do you think that may mean for the workplace?

Categories: iGen, Parenting