Page 46 - Foreign Service Journal - October, 2012b

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to promoting creativity. Te reality of strict operating hours for
consular sections or other ofces serving the public, or indeed
the rest of the organization, will inevitably collide with the ideal
of being able to shape one’s own schedule. Fortunately, good-
faith eforts to accommodate that preference, while still respect-
ing the constraints of time zones and Washington’s needs, will go
far to motivate newer Foreign Service members.
Veteran Foreign Service ofcers may not be
aware of the extent to which Millennials and Gen Yers are con-
nected in real time via e-mail, Facebook and other social media,
and are prepared to share their impressions (good and bad) of
Foreign Service life and work instantly with wide audiences. A
supervisor who unloads on a Millennial may fnd him or herself
being famed across a slice of the Foreign Service blogosphere
(and beyond).
Likewise, a Millennial may not comprehend the conse-
quences, both in the workplace and in terms of security, of
laying one’s life or opinions out on social media, where nothing
is private. A-100 orientation classes could consider creating case
studies of good and bad examples to get at this before the new
Foreign Service member learns the hard way.
What Veteran Employees Want
Commitment to the job.
Younger employees inevitably
have to adjust expectations, learn to sacrifce for others, and
sometimes just do the job to gain the necessary experience for
success. After all, we diplomats may promote democracy, but
bureaucracies aren’t paradigms of participatory democracy.
While the Foreign Service has gotten better at promoting a
healthy work-life balance, nothing may impress a more senior
Foreign Service member as much as the sight of a younger col-
league electing to invest an evening on a priority mission project
with a frm deadline at the cost of a social engagement. (Several
mid-level FSOs who were asked to comment on an early draft
of this paragraph expressed dismay and disbelief that this might
still be true—a good illustration of the generational gulf.)
Recognition of experience.
Veteran employees have accrued
hard-won professional knowledge and real-world experience,
Smart managers tell their
subordinates how their
contributions advance
American foreign policy goals.