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Friday, April 08, 2011

Are Today's Workers Too Immature?

Are nit-picky workplace rules and government legislation necessary to force us into acting like grown ups, or is this just unnecessary intrusion into workers' lives?

Are Today's Workers Too Immature?


Another Evil HR Director said...

Actually, from my perspective, I see way too many employees who thing their employer, or the government, should "parent" them. At least their behavior surely implies this. People do not want to take responsibility for their own behavior, want "someone" else to do everything for them. We often hear that employees want their employers to trust them, give them more responsibility and treat them like adults. Unfortunately, too many times, they are not behaving like adults. Businesses are forced to put into place what may seem like petty and obvious workplace rules; if they don't, they get sued because they didn't tell people "don't do that!". Government over-regulation does not help; it simply reinforces the impression that "someone" else must be responsible for your behavior and "someone" else must take care of you.

costofwork said...

To answer your question, they are definitely from another generation. The things that they think are funny to me seem harsh sometimes. They are very sarcastic and I think they believe that they will never endure a hardship, very arrogant and entitled. Now that being said, these new rules would seem hard to justify.(or enforce) But keeping in mind that this is the Health Department and they are trying to create a healthy environment. I kinda understand, ever go to the gym and the personal trainer looks as if they need a few more session themselves. It crosses your mind.

fposte said...

I don't think it's strictly generational, though. I'm supported by incredible young people who are much better and more mature workers than I was at their age (and this article makes me even more grateful for them), and I know plenty of people much closer to retirement than childhood who can't manage to share a microwave civilly.

Nonetheless, putting calorie limits on employee food? Holy micromanagement, Batman.

Charles said...

Two things;

First, this article is about a New York City Agency - the city with Mr. Mike "Nannystate" Bloomberg as mayor. So, these extreme rules do not surprise me. Perhaps, it is someone in that agency that is trying to impress Bloomberg with how "caring" she can be?

Second; while that agency's rules seem extreme, there seems to be a lot of folks who do not know how to get along with others. Therefore, management needs to tell those folks how to behave.

Here's an idea - fire the jerks! But, wait, then those jerks will sue for discrimination.

Mike C. said...

Last time I checked, the folks who manage workplaces were those who were older and more experienced. It's not the "young kids" that are ignoring the basic principles of the ADA or watching horse porn on their work computers.

So maybe we can all step away from the "they just want a parent and hate responsibility" or the "they're so entitled!!" comments for once? Maybe the "young folk" are tired of being micromanaged and watching their disabled coworkers being treated like garbage for no reason? Maybe they look to their peers in other nations and wonder why they get regular vacations while remaining just as much if not more productive?

I just don't understand why I see this "generational divide" in the "business" world when I don't see it anywhere else. Why is it that whenever the smallest hint of "immaturity" is mentioned people come crawling out of the woodwork to complain about people younger than themselves? You folks act like you've never been young before or that you've never made mistakes and that the instant someone suggests there is a better way to do things they're "entitled"?

Maybe you guys need a break from the horse videos.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it's generational (I've seen to many 50 year olds who can't work out a dispute about radio volume on their own) but I do want to pont out that according to the memo the employees food is not being micromanaged- food served at meetings and events sponsored by the Health department is.

costofwork said...

Well, now all due respect, however dismissing the generational differences may be short sided. You must admit that the workforce is changing, that change occurs because of a movement which is usually lead by a generation that thinks differently.(there are other factors;political/regional) Clothing is different, benefit packages are different, training programs are different. We had to change they way we think about evey aspect of our job because of generational differences. 10 years ago, no one ever would've thought about using social media as a selection tool. Going back to the article, I believe the NYC Department of Health is trying to create a healthy example of employee behavior. I don't think this is a bad thing. Just different.

Mike C. said...


Please understand that I'm not writing this out of anger but rather out of a desire to understand these feelings. You're not the first nor the last to express these feelings so I appreciate the fact you're willing to engage in this.

You posted the following about the "new generation":

"They are very sarcastic and I think they believe that they will never endure a hardship, very arrogant and entitled."

The sarcasm I couldn't care less about, but "never endure a hardship", "arrogant" and "entitled" - those are rather provocative phrases to describe an entire generation, don't you think? You're saying that we somehow have it easy, we think we're better than everyone else, and we deserve to be rewarded as such.

Why do you believe this? What is it in your personal experience that supports this, and how does it compare to your own experience when you were of that age?

I have some thoughts on why you believe this, but I'm more interested in what you have to say. Again, I'm not writing this out of anger or to prove a point or win an argument but to understand why I keep seeing this over and over again.

Anonymous said...

Like some of the other posters have teased out, I think this article mixes together 1) trying to inculcate the DOH culture at DOH events (even office parties) and 2) trying to set a tone for how to work in a new office-less environment. While I think #1 may go too far, more of #2 is needed.

I work as a manager in a NYC agency with unionized staff. What I've seen happen in this work setting would make most people blanch--violence toward managers, sleeping at your desk, shaving on the office floor, radios blasting music like it's a car at the beach in the summer (and one employee who has done all of this repeatedly is still on the job). I feel most days that I am not asked to manage my team, but to first civilize them in terms of what is expected in a work place (don't drop peanut shells behind you as you walk around, you are expected to work for your paycheck). Granted, it is better at other city agencies, but it is nearly impossible to make headway when the overall culture is one where workers don't work and managers don't manage.

I hope that my experience is unique (I can't believe this sector, after having worked in the private sector), but I think it may be a topic to discuss--having to bring workers up to a minimun level of workplace civilization. That's a whole other managerial challenge.

Anonymous said...

It's seems that this newer workforce generation is expecting that senior staff are their siblings and that anytime a correction is made a flurry of woe is me occurs and complaints are made that 1) he/she was mean, 2) she /he had a tone 3)"he/she "yelled" at me(which I have found in my own children 'yelled' is used as any thing perceived as disagreement or correction verbal or non verbal.)
If there is a student working with my patient in an unsafe way yeah he/she will be "yelled" at that's just the way it is gotta follow the rules this is work,this is for real no excuses; you can't do it over if you kill someone
And in response to never before been young: yes we learned from senior staff ...if something needed clarification, discussion it was done often times initated by the "younger" or newer employee but not cry baby "he looked at me mean" stuff is infantile...puhleez grow up = maturity