environment, she advises younger faculty to meet
the communication preferences of their more
"When you're at an institution where relationships trump everything, you need to get out of your
chair and go see people," Harder says. "Face-to-face
interactions are how relationships get built."
Varied approaches to communication don't
mean millennials don't work hard; they just work
di;erently. Scott Shane, a Case Western Reserve
University (CWRU) professor with expertise in
millennial entrepreneurship, says the modern
economic environment and the rise of technology has transformed the values of young workers.
With pensions now a foreign concept, this population seeks flexibility and a work-life balance
that may not include being chained to a desk for
10 hours. For millennial educators, the ubiquity
of smartphones and the internet puts a decreased
emphasis on strict o;ce hours, as students can be
reached electronically just as easily.
"The ability to work out of a co;ee shop or your
home has changed that attitude," Shane says. "If
they can work out of their house in their pajamas,
that's what they're going to do."
The millennial "mobility of work" attitude
is currently yielding benefits for Metropolitan
Community College, Nooks says. A millennial
advisor working off-cycle hours to respond to a
10 p.m. text is an approach Gen Xers and boomers
can potentially explore, even if they don't directly
adopt the practice themselves.
"As long as the work gets done, I think it's okay
to question what the model looks like," Nooks says.
NAVIGATING THE GENERATIONAL WATERS
Young professionals wanting more guidance and
acknowledgement on the job is another possible
workplace pain point, Shane says, as older workers may think the younger group is needy or high
maintenance. However, training future leaders
e;ectively requires knowing what works for them,
including a management style that offers constructive feedback instead of simple criticism.
"If you're coaching young people, tough, disciplinary leadership is not going to go over very
well," Shane says. "You have to take a developmental
approach to feedback, because the drill sergeant
approach is not going to work."
Solomon Tention, director for student engagement at South Louisiana Community College
and a millennial himself, says his generation's
tendency to expect automatic resolutions to issues
sometimes spells trouble.
"We want to save the world right away, and
older people at the college may not understand
that," Tention says. "Young people have to learn to
Millennial faculty must strike a balance
between longing for change and the ability to
prove what they're proposing is both needed and
viable. Tention came to SLCC with an understanding that his skill set would supersede any
concerns about age. Groomed in his professional
Gray Hicswa, a Gen X
input from people of