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Bestselling Author Coming to Millersville

“There are more commonalities between the generations than differences.”

Communication between generations will be the theme of a day-long workshop coming up at Millersville University (MU). The ‘Ville will welcome New York Times bestselling author Lindsey Pollak to campus on Thursday, Feb. 27.

Pollak is the author of “Becoming the Boss,” “Getting from College to Career” and “The Remix: How to Succeed in the Multigenerational Workplace.” Her campus presentations will share insights into how to better understand, engage and leverage the unique skills and talents of each generation in the workplace.

Pollak’s day at Millersville will include three sessions.

The morning session, sponsored by the Millersville University Office of Experiential Learning & Career Management (ELCM) and Lancaster SHRM, is for the University’s external business and industry partners and talent acquisition/recruitment professionals. It will focus on discovering commonalities between generations, strengthening relationships and strategies to attract, retain and engage Millennials and the upcoming Generation Z workforce without alienating other generations. As a result of Lancaster SHRM’s co-sponsorship, human resource professionals can receive continuing education credit by attending.

“Never before have we had five different generations in the workplace working together,” said Melissa Wardwell, director of ELCM.

Pollak will host a mid-day session in the Student Memorial Center Reighard Multipurpose Room from noon to 1:10 p.m.  The session is open to all students and sponsored by the Millersville Mentorship Office. The session will focus on strengthening generational understanding, identifying, building and leveraging mentorships and overcoming generational conflict in the workplace.

The third and final session for students, faculty, staff and alumni will zero in on ensuring successful mentoring relationships. It will take place from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the MPR. Pollak’s interactive session will discuss best practices for mentor-mentee pairs and master specific, tactical strategies for making every mentoring interaction productive and positive and is open for all students. The event is free, but registration is requested.

Pollak previously visited Millersville in 2018. Strong positive feedback from students and community members, along with co-sponsorship from Lancaster SHRM, made it possible to bring her back again.

“Her first two books focused on helping college students and millennials succeed in the workplace. Now, she is a leading national expert for business leaders and employees seeking to successfully navigate a workplace environment with multiple generations,” Wardwell said. “The last time she was here she spoke to our business and industry partners about how to attract and retain millennial talent. Human resources professionals from Lancaster SHRM were so impressed by her presentation that they felt it would be a beneficial professional development opportunity for their members to help us in bringing her back again.”

Experts in multi-generational communication are needed now more than ever due to the varying ages of people in the workforce. Even at the college level, where the ages of students range, understanding the best ways to communicate is critical, according to Audrey Bare, ELCM interim assistant director.

Bare hopes that all who attend can walk away with strategies on how to improve their working relationships.

“Hopefully they learn more about specific strategies that they can take to the workplace and apply,” she said. “For the 4 p.m. session, we asked Pollak to specifically focus on communication strategies for successful mentor and mentee pairs. For individuals serving as mentors or mentees, they can apply these ideas for successful relationships and networking to these partnerships they are forming.”

Wardwell hopes to begin bridging the gap between generations in the workplace.“I think we’ve seen how easy it can be for people to fall into shaming another generation,” she said. “Part of what Lindsay says in her blog and social media messaging is that there are more commonalities between the generations than differences. Her message is of promoting generational understanding, creating healthy dialogues and trying to understand where people are coming from and how they may have been shaped by the times and places where they grew up, in order to collaborate better together.”

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