On Friday, an article appeared at CIO that dealt with the topic of younger workers and the provision of on-the-job training, especially information technology training. There are probably a lot of different conclusions to draw from this piece, or others like it. But one thing that jumps out at us is the unacknowledged potential for millennial employees to acquire and very effectively utilize business analyst training.
Don’t get us wrong: as far as we can tell, there isn’t anything particularly special about under-30 workers that makes them better candidates for business analyst training. The same principles and practices are available and practicable for any reasonable smart person, through online business analyst training. It doesn’t implicitly matter whether he or she is 18 or 80. But workplace stories about the generation gap often seem to suggest that certain millennials have a particular affinity for this useful supplement to online information technology training.
If you’ve read other articles in the past that discuss adapting to millennials in the workplace, you’ve probably come to expect somewhat dismissive generalizations coming from people who work in positions of management. The CIO article is no exception.
Now, you may agree or disagree with the pejorative remarks coming from people like Purdue Pharma CIO Larry Pickett, who was quoted for the article. He responded to a millennial employee’s suggestion for short, incremental training sessions by saying of younger workers, “They just don’t have the tolerance, the patience or the time to be able to do longer training.”
To the credit of the article’s author, he doesn’t take Pickett’s perspective at face value. Instead, he points to the alternative explanation that recommendations for alternative training and other such changes are the result of a genuine interest in bringing about change for the better in the way their workplace operates.
In other words, maybe the intuitive perspective that they’re offering is something that could be further developed and put to use once the millennial employee has a stronger background in business analysis training and other types of supportive experience.
If you’re an older worker or a hiring manager who’s struggled to adapt to a millennial workforce, it’s up to you to decide whether the differences that you witness are a result of flaws in the individual, flaws in an entire generation, or simply a different way of working and thinking about things.
Just don’t close yourself off prematurely to the latter explanation. Even if you have been through business analyst training that ought to put them to shame, you can’t ignore the possibility of someone noticing something you haven’t. Neither can you ignore the possibility that far from fitting the stereotype of the lazy millennial, they’ve been pursuing online business analyst training in their off-hours and really thinking about the future of the business.
Being young has never precluded anyone from being motivated, capable, and having good ideas. The current generation is no different in this regard than those that went before it.