This may look at first glance like three young people playing side by side. But they are actually communicating with one another via their Nintendo DS devices. It’s a bit scary to watch, but after a while you get used to it.
Like it or not, this is the future and these people will be entering your workforce within the next decade. Some of you may be thinking, “Hopefully I will be retired by then.” But for the rest of you, it’s either adapt or be left behind.
In the past month, I’ve heard a number of horrific stories regarding Millennials and the use of their Blackberrys at business meetings. Here’s one of my favorites. A CEO told me that one of her younger employees started texting in the middle of a business lunch with a major prospect. She didn’t know whether she should have dunked the blackberry into the woman’s bowl of soup or if she should have waited until after lunch to fire this person.
I’ll be the first to admit that I too would have been knocked off balance by this event. However, I suspect we will be seeing more of this as young people, who are used to sleeping with these devices, come to the workplace. As managers, we need to set some boundaries (and don’t forget to follow them as well) so that your people understand what is and is not appropriate when it comes to technology and business meetings.
You cannot assume that everyone knows you do not pull out your Blackberry (or DS) during business meetings. Nor do you order drinks with cute little umbrellas when you are at a business lunch.
Welcome to the Future!