301 - Just Treat Me Like an Adult

Episode: 301

Episode Title: Just Treat Me Like an Adult

A new study shows that younger workers want respect more than gimmicky office perks like rock walls and ping-pong. Here’s why, next on The Perna Syndicate.


Ep 301 show:

Hello and welcome to The Perna Syndicate! I’m your host, Mark Perna, and I admit it: I’m a Baby Boomer. As such, I can speak to the way that respect used to work. If you were younger, you automatically respected your elders. But today, things work very differently. 


Younger-gen individuals—Millennials and Generation-Z—want to feel respected first before they will give respect. If they don’t feel respected, they see no reason to show respect. Thankfully, the reverse is also true: as soon as they feel respected, they quickly reciprocate. 


A study out of the University of Missouri and Kansas State University highlights this new reality. The researchers found that full-time workers aged 21 to 34 prioritize respectful communication over “having fun” at work with trendy office perks. 


What does this mean in the workplace? It’s simple. Younger-gen workers just want management to cut the fluff. They don’t want to be entertained; they want to be treated like the adults they are.


If you think about their quest for purpose and their desire to make the world a better place through their work, this makes perfect sense. They want to contribute to the success of the mission—and they want that contribution to be taken seriously. 


Gimmicky office perks like nap pods, rock-climbing walls, and ping-pong tables have had their day, especially with the rise of remote work. Younger workers just want to be treated like adults—and it’s time they were.


Tomorrow: how can managers determine their level of respect for younger-gen workers? We’ll talk about it the next episode of The Perna Syndicate. See you then!

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