HOW TO WORK IN THE GENERATIONAL DIVIDE

There’s no question that members of the most recent generation to enter the workforce do operate differently than most of their predecessors. Thus, the generational gap grows wider.

In order to work amicably with Gen Y, you might try the following four ideas:

  1. Tear up historical job descriptions. I mean really—people aren’t doing what’s written in them anyway, so there is a gap between reality and the written word. Gen Y wants the reality of the job, not some overstated litany of outdated words.
  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. So 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 members of this generation take criticism personally. The old “sandwich” approach—whereby you tell them something good, then give criticism, then end with another positive point—simply doesn’t work. Remember the “Serial position effect”; in other words, people remember the beginning and end.

If you want happiness for a lifetime—help the next generation. ~ Chinese Proverb

Findings from Deloitte’s fourth annual Millennial Survey show that business, particularly in developed markets, will need to make significant changes to attract and retain the future workforce.

Deloitte surveyed 7,800 of tomorrow’s leaders, from 29 countries, on effective leadership and how business operates and impacts society.

  • Millennials overwhelmingly believe (75 percent) businesses are focused on their own agendas rather than helping to improve society.
  •  Only 28 percent of Millennials feel that their current organization is making full use of their skills.
  •  More than half (53 percent) aspire to become the leader or most senior executive within their current organization, with a clear ambition gap between Millennials in emerging markets and developed markets.
  • Sixty-five percent of emerging-market based Millennials said they would like to achieve this goal, compared to only 38 percent in developed markets. This figure was also higher among men.
  • Additionally, the survey found large global businesses have less appeal for Millennials in developed markets (35 percent) compared to emerging markets (51 percent).
  • Developed-market based Millennials are also less inclined (11 percent) than Millennials in emerging markets (22 percent) to start their own business.

Please email me if you would like a copy of the Generational Divide sheet outlining the differences of generations. And I would love to hear your comments about Gen Y and how you deal with them.  If you are Gen Y, let us know how you like to work with others!

Cheers – Marsha

 

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