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The challenges facing IT managers are increasing as more and more millennials join the IT workforce .  Senior IT leaders from NOREX member organizations recently shared experiences and opinions on the NextGen workforce during a recent WebForum.

Topic: Interacting with millennials

Moderator:  Why are they more difficult for those of you who are saying that they are? Is it just their attitude on the work-life balance, some of those types of things?

Bob B.: For me it is trying to get them to understand that non-millennials need a different level of attention and documentation than millennials.

Moderator: Can you elaborate on that a little bit? Non-millennials need more documentation?

Bob B.: We are doing a lot of DRP rollouts and implementations and our older staff, and in manufacturing we have got a pretty significant age in most of our production staff, they don’t thing digitally. They don’t think in the same way that millennials do in terms of assimilating information.  We need to create a much tighter set of work instructions and documentation for the shop floor and even for the office folks than a millennial would require.

For a millennial a computer is nothing. For people that are in their 40-50’s that is a different ballgame. So the struggle is really trying to get the younger staff to understand the needs of the older staff and get them to meet those needs. That is not easy to do for me.

Mike B.: What we have found is that they really enjoy the casual aspect of project evolution and project progress much more than our older staff. So by making a move towards Agile we find that it is actually easier to talk with them, they understand it. They get it. They like the iterative process. They like to see immediate progress.

So making the move to Agile, our older staff is adjusting to it. They are more used to Waterfall but they are adjusting to it because they see the successes that are happening on our agile projects. We have only got two going right now but we are making extremely good progress with those two projects.

Moderator: I have a few more polls to work through that should help establish some trends when it comes to managing in this environment. What statement is most aligned with your view of millennials; talented and easy to work with, talented but somewhat difficult, talented but very difficult, no more talented but difficult, no more talented or more difficult? I realize that is kind of a mouthful there but hopefully I have provided all of the possible options here with this poll. 

Members may download the CIO NextGen Workforce transcript at any time. For more information, please contact NOREX.