Generational Diversity?

A friend related that her employer had a seminar on generational diversity.  Huh?  Simply put, it is explaining to the present staff how it should understand and adapt to the new generation of young employees coming into the hospital.  This comes on the heels of a newspaper article about "helicopter parents" now involved in their adult child’s workplace.

I initially thought that the article was reporting incidents in major urban areas and was surprised to find a local example in a small city in flyover country.  The flipside question is, are the younger employees given similar training in how to adapt to the older, more experienced adults who have been performing their job for years?

And I ask myself, is this how I want my children to go through the world, unable to adapt to the rigors of life and unable to fight their own battles?  I recall conversations with my late father in which I griped about some adult’s personality; his response typically that as a person aged, they were increasingly unable or unwilling to change or be flexible.  Get over it, you have to adapt and figure out how to make it work.  And then, he’d help me with strategies on making it work.

Yet now, the older generations are being asked to adapt to the vagaries of the Y Generation.  We’ve decided that the children and teens have to be protected not just from the real threats, but also from the things that just come along in life.  Odd working hours.  Unpleasant job situations and performance standards.  Performance reviews.  When does that generation learn to stand on its own two feet and adapt to what happens in the world?  When does the child finally and fully become an adult?

How do I teach my own children to adapt – and thrive – in the world and handle what comes at them?

Because I won’t always be there.

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