There is no doubt that there are differences in the work ethics between generations. My father's generation had a work ethic informed by the great depression. 

My generation watched our parents and said, "we want more time to be with family and enjoy life." At the same time, we work hard, keep the rules (well I am bad at that) and do what it takes to get the task done.

My sons generation, twenty somethings, well they are complicated when it comes to work: schedules (I have to come at a certain time?), dress codes (what are those?), work (lets have fun while we're at it), feedback (you are actually going to criticize me?). As I say, it is complicated and books have been written on how to manage the twenty something generation.

At the same time, I have rarely seen a more committed, harder working, team oriented and creative group than the twenty something generation IF they have a cause worth giving their lives to. Given a clear focus, a cause worth giving one's life to and these folks will work all night, put in amazing hours and deliver the best.

The problem for many organizations is that they don't have a clear cause that motivates them. For this generation, small or no cause equals boredom and therefore diminished attention and they will find their cause outside of work.

They also want empowerment to test new ideas and be creative. Put them in a box of micromanagement or "this is the only way" and you have lost them. Give them some freedom and empowerment and you will win them. If you take it one step further and bring them to the table and allow them to participate in strategy and direction - giving them a voice, you get their loyalty!

Missional ministries who are focused, passionate and empowered will find that this generation will infuse it with amazing creativity and energy. Institutional ministries who major on organization to the detriment of mission and passion will not motivate this generation. They actually have something to teach the rest of us!  Missional focus and a cause worth giving one's life to matters.  
  • Apr 05, 2011
  • Category: News
  • Comments: 0
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