We saw an entertaining but informative article some months ago that tutored readers on how millennials should treat baby boomers in the workplace. Yes, it was more than a bit pandering, but had kernels of sound advice in it. Last weekend, a piece ran in the L.A. Times that went the other way.

How should baby boomers treat millennials in an association or organization? It may surprise you to know that the lists were nearly identical.

  • 1. Be friendly. Be approachable and accepting of new perspectives. It keeps walls from going up.
  • 2. Offer performance feedback, constructive, of course. It makes people feel valued.
  • 3. Share why you are doing something. People want to know the reason for a project.
  • 4. Be empathic when hearing about personal and professional challenges for mutual support.
  • 5. Encourage technology use in new creative ways. This stimulates everyone and may just solve a problem.

Speaking of stimulation, it’s the only area where the two age groups have differences. Boomers like quiet reflection and millennials prefer constant input. And those job reviews? Boomers are comfortable with annual appraisals. Younger professionals want daily feedback so they can hone skills in order to aspire to senior positions faster – the positions boomers hold.

So, it turns out that all age groups want to be treated with kindness, comradery, and respect.

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