I recently watched a 60 Minutes which examined factors that shaped people now entering the workforce. (Born in the 80’s) It said this generation has been required to be the most community-centric in a long time. As this generation’s parents pursued the consumeristic, selfish excesses of the 80’s, their children were left to be raised in daycares. The argument was that these kids formed their identity around daycare, soccer, after-school programs and other group programs.
In these groups, individual achievement was not praised as high as cooperative participation. Trophies were given not just to the winners but to everyone with the words ‘Participation Award’. These children now expect praise not based on their accomplishments but only if they show up to play. A CEO of a Fortune 500 characterized the generation as workers by basically saying that they had the lowest level of creativity/performance that he had seen yet they believed by just coming in and doing an average job (read ‘showing up to work’) they would be promoted fast up the corporate ladder.
The individual now finds worth as a participant in their community. Do they get along with other? Are they a team player? These will be the types of questions they ask and value.
How will this shape the culture? Tolerance? Truth? Purpose? These ideas will have a significant impact on these.