The comments from a Generation X or Baby Boomer manager that could reside anywhere in America go a little like this. “I can’t deal with these darn millennials. They are lazy. They are entitled. I can’t communicate with them.” But Dustin Anderson, president of Anderson Glass in Waco, Texas—and the man who serves as the glazier on HGTV’s Fixer Upper—has a response to that.

When he hears statements like those, he asks: “So what have you done to meet them halfway?” And when he asks the commenter if this problem exists with all millennials, the answer is almost always yes. Interesting. So perhaps the millennials are not the problem at all. Perhaps those of us in the other generations need to make some changes in approach. Anderson summed it up in a great way.

“It’s not that they [millennials] don’t want to work, it’s that we aren’t saying yes to pivoting,” he says. “It’s changing when you don’t want to.”

What a great way to look at it. Let’s all get a little uncomfortable. My 17-year old just said this to my husband the other day. “Dad, you aren’t going to grow if you don’t put yourself in uncomfortable situations.” See, millennials are so smart!

The Hiring Game

Anderson also said the way we hire now is different than years past due to a variety of factors. First, what people get a degree in these days doesn’t mean that’s what they end up doing in their career. And he said competing against progressive companies with a host of benefits isn’t easy.

“None of my friends do what their degrees say,” he says. “We are competing with companies who have basketball courts and a nap room.”

There is hope, however, and yes, in the glass industry.

“I like looking at other glass stuff, and I want to know how that guy did that,” says Anderson. “Maybe things you take for granted are really cool and some young intelligent person sees that and says, ’Holy jeez, that’s lit—I want to do that.” (And if you are a Generation Xer like me, don’t worry. Lit doesn’t mean what you think anymore).

The last piece of advice from Anderson: If you don’t have social media, you are behind. “I consume media through social media,” he says. It’s even used for hiring as well. So the next time you hire, sure, continue with that placed ad in the local paper, but also place it on Facebook and see what happens. Your pivoting may just pay off.

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