Gen Y is loosely defined as those born between 1980 and 1994. The media is filled with headlines and stories reporting the ‘horror’ of Generation Y and the detrimental impact of their entry into the work place.
So how different are they really? Christine Hassler a Gen Y career expert and consultant to American Express on Millennials, states “When they get to the workplace, they have a sense of entitlement, a need for validation, difficulty in really discerning what to do because their whole lives were managed. They have challenges with making decisions and have expectations of work-life balance. They want their opinion to matter and [want to work] for a company that is really making a difference.”
This can be incongruent with both Baby Boomers and Gen X’s who have worked through their careers gaining respect, working for managers who don’t always value the importance of feedback and in an environment where you live and die by your decisions. With this in mind these older generations have gained respect for this youngest cohort of workers for their unbridled zeal, their focus on work and life balance and their ability to take the initiative and ask for feedback.
Here is Happening People’s Top 5 for bridging the gap with Gen Y’s………
Gen Y’s are absorbed in a world made possible by technology. They cut their teeth on computer keyboards. To them, the internet is as easy as breathing. They will not only utilise ALL the technology thrown at them they will have their own.
Use their talents to help manage and teach others in this area.
Having grown up in a world where flexibility is paramount to survival, Gen Y’s value this in the workplace too. Offering flexible work practices is not a thing of the future it is for now! Be willing to discuss options with them and you might just improve retention across all generations.
3. Face-to-Face time
Facebook, Twitter, Google+, smart phones, tablets, instant messaging and texting! Gen Y’s are use to a multiplicity of communication modes, they live in a state of digital hyperactivity though research shows in a workplace setting they prefer face-to-face time with their managers and peers. Clearly express which communication you would like face-to-face and for which communication technology is appropriate.
4. Know their Strengths
Gen Y’s are far better educated, more globally aware and technically savvy than any previous generation. They come to the workforce filled with fresh ideas and lots of passion. Use their strengths to your businesses advantage. Have them take a look at time consuming processes and ask them to suggest ways of streamlining them. Gen Y’s have grown up with a social conscious, see what value they can add to your social brand.
5. Show Respect
Due to the bad wrap Gen Y’s have received in the press it’s not surprising they can complain of being poorly treated in the workplace. Gen Y’s have grown up in an environment where their parents have asked their opinion on major family decisions. Try to embrace their need to be involved and their willingness to offer their opinion; it may just be the answer you are seeking.
If your Leaders need assistance in maximising your Gen Y workforce, contact Happening People on 1800 68 67 69.
We’ll discuss a program to suit your needs.