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GNWT offers staff training on ‘working with millennials’


The Northwest Territories government is to begin offering training for staff who would like to learn about working alongside millennials.

Government employees can now sign up for a Zoom session on November 26 that promises to tackle “many misconceptions about the millennial generation.”

Though the one-hour workshop is still five months away, the territorial government confirmed to Cabin Radio that four people have already signed up to attend. A maximum of 30 can take part.

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The Working with Millennials course is offered through Morneau Shepell, the human resources company that provides the NWT government’s employee and family assistance program.

An online description of the course states participants will “review common myths about millennials; discuss how generational values shape workplace culture and may influence differing preferences in etiquette, communication, and professional relationships with leaders; [and] identify tips to help people leaders work more effectively with millennials.”

Todd Sasaki, a spokesperson for the NWT government’s Department of Finance – which oversees human resources – said by email this was the first time the territory had offered Working with Millennials to its staff.

Each year, Sasaki wrote, the NWT government “offers 12 wellness seminars on a variety of health and wellbeing topics.”

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He added: “Working with Millennials is a new session offered by Morneau Shepell.”

Other courses tackle subjects like inclusive workplaces, Indigenous cultural awareness, and supports for mental health at work.

Cabin Radio could find no course entitled Working with Boomers.

Generally speaking – though it’s open to some debate – millennials are defined as people born between 1981 and 1996. Boomers, the product of the baby boom after World War Two, are ordinarily defined as those born between 1946 and 1964.

November’s course is due to be facilitated by Alison Davis, according to the NWT government’s website.

An author named Alison Davis – though not necessarily the same person, as there appear to be at least two consultants of the same name in the field – provided some advice on communicating with millennials in a 2017 article for a business and leadership website named Inc.

Among that article’s tips are:

  • “Reduce the portion size of every communication you create.”
  • “Write the way you’d speak to a colleague or even a friend. BFFs don’t let friends use words like core competency, synergy, and strategic imperatives.”
  • “Millennials know that one-way communication is so 1974. Start by advising leaders to listen more – to talk less, ask more questions, and then just listen. Then create high-touch forums that allow employees and leaders to interact.”
  • “Become more playful” and find ways to “create the same opportunities” that video games offer millennials.

(After this article was published, the NWT government clarified that the Alison Davis who wrote those tips is definitively not the Alison Davis associated with the course in the territory’s booking system. A different Morneau Shepell facilitator will lead the course.)

Sarah Pruys contributed reporting.

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