Generation Y has been the most challenging workforce for many organizations, especially when it comes to managing their talents. These challenges start from the recruitment stage to training to retaining them at workplace. The human resource department, which oversees most of these functions, can tell a long story on this.
Generation Y forms a majority of entry-level employees while the leadership senior management and middle-level management are Generation X and/or Baby Boomers. These two generations have a different characteristics and perspectives about work and life in generation. Here are a few examples of their differences at work:-
- Work ethics – Baby boomers are driven, workaholic and equate worth to ethic while Generation Yare ambitious, multi task and keep looking for the next big thing.
- Time at work – Generation X are project oriented and believe they are paid to get the job done while Generation Y take the job as a “gig” and leave work at exactly 5 o’clock.
- Work life balance – Baby Boomers work to live while Generation Y lives to work.
- Career development – Generation X seek to grow by acquiring more degrees and experiences within the organization while Generation Y grows by seeking opportunities, if the organization does not have what they want, they look for it in another organization.
There are more differences than the outline above, but you can see the pattern. The leaders believe one thing and the followers another. The good news is, not all is lost as you can learn and incorporate some principles to engage the generation Y workforce and maximize their potential.
Here is a list of do’s and don’ts when it comes to engaging the Millennial.
Do Offer Them Flexibility
Generation Y work to live, therefore, they will work best with flexible schedules. A millennial will work hard and long given that it fits within his or her schedule, they do not want to make work their life.
They do not like the 9 to 5 office life, and if one stays in such a job, they will be on social media half the time. Leverage on technology and evaluate them on results not how much time they spend in the office.
Do Encourage Open Communication
This generation has grown up negotiating everything from bedtime to play station time. They appreciate open and honest communication. As a leader, when you communicate where the company is and what their role is, you engage them more because they feel part of the team. Listen to their ideas as well when they speak up. Once you adopt the idea, include the employee in the implementation team. This builds their confidence thus productivity and engagement.
Don’t Reprimand in Public
When you talk down to a Generation Y employee, especially in public, it leads to resentment. They will resent the job and you as the leader. They think highly of themselves and when they make a mistake, they do not want their image tarnished in front of colleagues. Call the employee to your office, and explain to them where they failed and what how they could have done it. Listen to their explanation of the situation as well.
Don’t control the internet
They are tech-savvy and all their fancy gadgets need internet connection. They communicate with each other and the world through social media. Some organizations limit internet use or lock some social media platforms. This is like squeezing life out of a Gen Y. Let them be responsible with what they do with the internet during working hours. You can also guide them to engage in conversations online that build the company not just personal interests. In conclusion, when you fully engage Generation Y at their workplace, they form a powerful team. These simple do’s and don’ts will lead you in the right direction to engage your Gen Y employees. Capitalize on their strong ambition and self-motivation to achieve organization goals faster.