Generation Clash Or Collaboration?

Lexi Tucker
Posted on August 2, 2017

I’m proud to be a part of a magazine that understands the importance of embracing Millennials in the workplace. This is LCT’s first-ever Fast 40 themed issue, and it was one of the most exciting I’ve worked on so far. The thought of so many successful operators under 40 years old looking to improve and contribute to the industry should inspire anybody, regardless of age.

We constantly see headlines like “How Millennials Lack Of Manners Is Killing Class,” “Millennials: The Me Me Me Generation,” and, my personal favorite, “Millionaire to Millennials: Stop Buying Avocado Toast If You Want To Buy A Home.” To group everyone in this age cohort together this way is unfair and inaccurate.

 However, I’m sure a minor slice of my generation lacks motivation, dislikes doing certain things the traditional way, and lacks social finesse, just like in any other generation. No one is perfect, but we do need to prove we can walk the talk (or perhaps hoverboard the talk?) if we are going to say, “But we’re not all like that.”

If you’re going to spend eight (or likely more if you’re in this business!) hours a day together, it’s important to throw generational differences to the wayside and learn and laugh with each other.

What follows are some points I believe will benefit everyone from Millennials to Baby Boomers. No matter your age, it’s all about respect — and no one should be deprived of the chance to give or receive it.

Prove Stereotypes Wrong

I think one of the most unfair assumptions made about Millennials is we’re all lazy and entitled. Let’s be real: I don’t care who you are, nobody likes activities that involve manual labor like washing vehicles, taking out trash, or making sure bathrooms are clean. Millennials are on track to become the most educated generation to date (according to the Pew Research Center), and want to use their knowledge.

Something to clarify on company culture: Nothing is above anyone — period. Operators of all skill and experience levels should instill this concept with their staff. It doesn’t matter how old, educated, or accomplished you are; everyone should be willing to do what’s needed to keep a business in working order.

Great ideas are born when experience meets innovation. Generation gap or not, respectful collaboration breeds success both sides can be proud of.

Coworkers, Friends, or Both?

It’s been argued being constantly connected to our smartphones, tablets, and other digital devices has made Millennials, and our up-and-coming cohorts Gen Z, anti-social. In reality, I’d argue this has made us more social than ever. We’re now able to connect with friends and family whether they are in the kitchen or across the world.

Social media allows us to express ourselves, and gives the people who have added us to their personal networks the ability to see what we’re like outside of office walls (which can be both a good and bad thing…but I digress).

Millennials, swallow your pride and do your best no matter the task. Older operators and entrepreneurs, lead by example.

We often see the phrase “work-life balance” appear in countless numbers of business articles, and how important it is to all people who work for a living. But does this mean life can’t blend with work? In other words, why can’t we form real connections with the people we see more than our own family and consider them friends as well?

Operator Matt Shafik of Genesis Limo in Houston, Texas says, “Improving relationships has nothing to do with age. Keep trying to make a connection, but make sure you’re doing it for genuine reasons and not self-gain and it will work out. Try and find some common ground.”

People in positions of power need to understand that at times they might not always be right. In a world constantly changing and being disrupted, you have to hear your subordinates out. They likely know more about technology than you do, and therefore are a great asset to the future of your business.

In turn, Millennials and younger professionals must be respectful about voicing what they believe are the right moves to make to keep the company afloat. Contrary to popular belief, we don’t know it all, and we need to realize that.

LEXI TUCKER is LCT assistant editor and coordinator of the LCT Fast 40, a group of operators under 40 who collaborate and learn from each other about all aspects of chauffeured transportation. She can be reached at [email protected]

Related Topics: company culture, employee management, LCTFast40, Lexi Tucker, Millennial Matters, Millennials

Lexi Tucker Senior Editor
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