Every generation is labeled. Each generation is a product of their culture, disciplines, education and shared experiences, just like every generation before. The current generation always gets a bad rap. Let’s not condemn it if we don’t seek to understand it. Here are some of the comments I’m hearing:
- Time has more consideration than money
- Some are uncertain of the American work-ethic after parent’s corporate experience
- Instant communication is a given – so are instant decisions
- Email is one of the slowest forms of communication
- An abundance of knowledge and entertainment, 24 x 7
- The current generation actually do multitask
- Typing is learned along the way – not a class you take
- Being digital is just normal
- Most processes are born digital – not automated after-the-fact
- Some question the corporate employment model; 1 in 3 U.S. workers now freelance (2014 stat)
- Work -> Save -> Retire is no longer an option
- Quality of life has value over quantity of stuff
“Being rich is not about having a lot of money, being rich is about having lots of options.”
The hallmark of a true professional is the ability to treat each person and situation with the same enthusiasm and interest as you did the very first time. This means that you will repeat yourself any number of times on the same or similar topics with the same or new clients. This is especially difficult for developers, who are trained to get to end point as efficiently as possible and, specifically, don’t repeat yourself (DRY principle).
I’ve recently put myself in someone else’s shoes – practicing patience and empathy. All I asked was that they do their job at the same quality level that I do my job. Is that too much to ask? It may in fact be too much to ask if the other person is put into an untenable situation, with no support from the company they represent. Imagine if you lacked the wherewithal to make a difference and had no control over your time or schedule and did not have the tools and resources to get things done. This person is responsible for delivery and installation of expensive equipment. However, the very company that stands to lose from a bad customer experience almost guarantees failure upon final delivery. Why so much emphasis on selling instead of delivery and service?
If you don’t support your team all the way to delivery of the end product you may in fact have a broken process. What kind of feedback loop do you have in place to find out what the customer experience is really like? I highly recommend that you follow your service or product to the end delivery point to see the results from your customers perspective. If you use 3rd-party sales, delivery or service reps then it is even more important to monitor final delivery results and follow up after the sale and delivery. A “Voice of the Customer” survey is not nearly enough to ensure customer satisfaction and good word-of-mouth referrals.
Repeating a broken process on a daily basis will not eventually fix the process.
“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”
~Sir Winston Churchill