Coworkers

Millennials are taking their parents to work. Yes, it’s really a thing.

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Many of us remember when our parents allowed us a glimpse into the mysterious life of an adult.

From helping make dinner to getting our hands dirty in the yard to changing the oil in the car, the chance to feel like an adult and learn from our parents was an important (and exciting) part of our development. To a child, the mundane life of an adult appears enigmatic and important. But ultimately, nothing beat the chance to go to work with mom or dad on the one day a year companies opened their doors to families: Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.

The tables are turning. From parents providing testimonials for their child’s job applications to Millennials inviting their parents to the company picnic, parental involvement in their children’s lives has been slowly but surely streaming into the workplace. It’s easy to be critical of the close-knit relationship Millennials have with their parents, especially when it involves the sacred family-free space of the office, but criticism may be counterproductive. In fact, to boost work and family ties, LinkedIn created Bring In Your Parents Day as a way to help parents understand the tech-related jobs their Millennial children did.

What can we learn from the LinkedIn initiative? What is the value of inviting parents into the workplace? Should we embrace the Millennial work-life integration work style? With Bring In Your Parents Day, LinkedIn has developed a toolkit so others can reap the benefits of the unique parent/Millennial relationship while supporting the Millennial persona.

Real family meets work family

Millennials gravitate towards opportunities for work-life integration and value building personal work connections. As a result, whether employers realize it or not, Millennials discuss coworker relationships, boss encounters and company successes and failures with their parents. They regularly seek their parents’ perspectives on workplace happenings. To Millennials, mom and dad know the ins and outs of office politics and water cooler talk, so now is the chance to connect the two worlds most important to them, work and family.

Dear Abby

Millennials have been turning to their parents for advice since they were children. Why would they stop at the workplace? Who do you think they went to for advice on the best approach when they asked for their first raise? Who do you think they texted when they were frustrated by a colleague, boss or project? For Millennials, their parents are the expert advice givers. Their parents have a lot of experience to share and are emotionally invested in their child’s success. Giving mom and dad a glimpse of the inner workings of the office might provide clarity for advice, setting the Millennial and the business up to succeed.

Proud as punch

Many parents of Millennials have invested years, tears and dollars toward supporting their children to get the jobs they have today. Seeing how their investment pays off is a point of pride for their parents. Millennials carry their parents’ pride into the work they do. Showcasing their work to parents is a resultsoriented way to connect the final product to personal success, and helps Millennials feel more committed to and confident in their employers.

It’s easy to brush off Millennials as immature or even laugh at their desire to involve their parents in their work lives. But take the time to understand how this idea can benefit the organization and consider making Bring In Your Parents Day a perk. Supporting work-life integration can be the decision point for an employee to either stay at an organization or find a new company that promotes a connection between their work family and their birth family.

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Associated Tags: Advising Across Generations

Traditionalist, before 1946; Baby Boomer, 1946-1964; Generation X, 1965-1979; Millennial, 1980-1995; Generation Edge, after 1995

This information is prepared by an unrelated independent third party, BridgeWorks, and is provided for informational purposes only. Waddell & Reed, Inc., believes the information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but does not guarantee the accuracy of the information provided.

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