Amazingly, this is the hottest topic in business today. I receive emails everyday asking, “How do I work with Generation Y?” How do you provide leadership and motivation to this new entrant into the workforce? The Millenials, the other moniker for Gen Y, were born between 1977 and 1994 and there are some 70 million in this 14 to 31 age group…roughly 20 percent of the U.S. Population.
1. Tear up historical job descriptions. I mean really — people aren’t doing what’s written in them, so there is a gap between reality and the written word. Gen Y wants the reality of the job, not some over stated litany of words that is outdated.
2. Become a facilitator and mentor. Dump your role as an authority. It does not work with Gen Y. Remember their “helicopter” parents hovered and became friends and companions to them. They expect the same of you.
3. Generation Y is tech savvy, nimble and enthusiastic, but they need structure. Spell out what the outcome needs to be and give them flexible direction.
4. Remember that they take criticism personally. The old “sandwich” approach doesn’t work (tell them something good, then the criticism, then end with something good). In today’s environment remember the “Serial position effect” – people remember the beginning and end.
5. If a Generation Y is doing the same work as another person, they expect the same pay. If you don’t give it to them, they will find a company that does.
6. They have little loyalty because the escape route is easy. They can always move back with mom and dad. There is real controversy on this perspective!
7. They bring self importance (not arrogance) to the job. There expectation is this: Give me a challenge and leadership and training to do it.
8. Communicate in short bursts. Think of things as little components. If you haven’t visited Twitter, you need to to understand this point.
Email me for the Generational Differences Spread Sheet. I think we need all the help we can get!
What have you learned about dealing with the different generations in the workplace. If you post a comment, I will send you a free download on Listening Skills!!!