“Millennial Workplace Expert” Lindsey Pollak has launched a startup whose mission is to help experienced executives to better understand and cater to younger workers.
In a recent Wall Street Journal interview, Pollack said the most important step employers must take is to simply lower their expectations of millennials.
“This is a new generation that is used to zero accountability, and companies need to embrace that,” Pollack said. “Corporate managers and business owners will experience greater job satisfaction and less disappointment if they don’t expect much from this unique subculture in the first place.”
Pollack says once companies adjust their expectations, they should employ the following techniques to maximize their enjoyment of what some call the “Dumbest Generation.”
Understand you are the Problem, Not the Millennial
“Millennials are a special, gifted generation unlike any before,” said the 41-year-old Pollack who refers to herself as a ‘proud Gen-Xer.’
“They have amassed an incredible amount of knowledge in a short time from Xbox, Facebook, and exchanging nude selfies on Snapchat,” she continued. “Those interactions alone trump corporate managers’ years of study, training, and career experience. We can learn so much from them.”
Pollack later apologized for using the word “trump” as it might offend millennials whom she says all support Bernie Sanders.
“The old ways of doing business, earning profits, and making deals are child’s play compared to what millennials bring to the table,” she said. “If you feel you are not benefiting from the millennials you have on staff, you need to look in the mirror.”
Pollack said frequent naps, smoothie breaks, and personal social media engagements on company time are just a few of a millennial’s favorite things that add value to a business’s bottom line.
“Managers and employers need to concede to millennials’ way of working,” she added. “Remember, you old people come from an era of workplace violence and going postal. Millennials are too distracted to waste time hating on anyone. Learn from them.”
Be a Friend, not a Boss
Pollack says she fully understands the need for corporate hierarchy to a degree, but that requiring millennials to report to anyone over the age of 29 does more harm than good.
“The best workaround for this situation is to become friends with your millennial employees,” she said. “Help them pick out their next tattoo. Buy them naptime pillows with a personally embroidered message in emojis that show you care. Purchase a ping pong table and play a few matches each day during work hours.”
“Just be sure to let them win,” she added.
Time, Love, and Tenderness
“Time, love, and tenderness” is an 80s hit that aging employers would recognize although their millennial counterparts likely won’t,” Pollack joked. “But those elements are critical.”
“Relative to time, millennials don’t relate to time,” she pointed out. “Do not give them grief for coming in late or packing up 15 minutes before the day’s end.”
Love is also a major factor, she continued.
“It takes a village to mother a Millennial,” Pollack said. “Nurture them as if they were your own children and give them praise even when they cost you business. This is a fragile generation and it is your responsibility not to hurt their feelings.”
And tenderness, she says, is the name of the game.
“There’s so much rhetoric about ending political correctness these days, which is the wrong way to go,” said Pollack. “Always mince words, beat around the bush, and be patient enough to let the millennial come to the right conclusion about anything they do wrong.”
“Handle them with care or you will get a well-deserved lawsuit for hurting the wrong millennial’s feelings,” she concluded.
The Wall Street Journal mentioned in Pollack’s article that more than 400 LinkedIn users list themselves as a “millennial expert” or “millennial consultant.”
The U.S. Department of Labor, however, classifies them as “unemployed hopefuls.”
“These are the same clowns who previously called themselves ‘community activists.’ After that it was ‘storyteller.’ And now these evaders of real jobs are suddenly millennial experts and consultants,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez.
“Cut me a break,” he said, rolling his eyes.