Generation Y is the one that has members born sometime between the 80s and early 2000s. Also referred to as Millennials, this is a generation for whom everything has come easily. Raised in decades of almost unbroken prosperity, Gen Y doesn’t have the same value for several things that earlier generations have. Members of Gen Y are often found to be overly confident and self-centred employees. Managing them like all your older employees or expecting them to blend in might not have very happy results for your business. They are neither spoiled brats, nor are they lazy – they are different, and the difference demands respect.
Here are some quick tips to engage your Gen Y employees, and create a mutually satisfying work relationship:
Members of Gen Y like to feel that they are working for a purpose. Interaction, regular feedback, recognition of good work and acknowledgement of progress are great motivators. Just because they love texting and tweeting, there’s a misconception that they are loners and prefer their tech devices to human interaction. They yearn for that pat on the back and frequent comments on their work. So acknowledge their time and effort.
The Gen Y has grown up on the internet and enjoys having options and the freedom of choice. So members of Gen Y will produce better outcomes if they are given the flexibility to choose the method to achieve the desired results. Don’t relinquish all control, just give them a slightly longer rope to select their options and make their own mark on the work.
The Gen Y employees like independence and prefer to work smart rather than work hard. They believe the rigid 9-5 system is not time efficient, and like to maximise their time and effort. So, with a Gen Y employee, it’s important that managers focus on deliverables, and not on the clock!
Telecommuting and fitness/wellness benefits will motivate your Gen Y employees to deliver their best.
Retaining your aspirational Gen Y employee can be a challenge if you don’t provide enough opportunity for learning, development and growth. A Gen Y employee would like you to play the role of a mentor, and will look up to a manager who is a professional role model. Clear plans for professional upward movement will excite and motivate the Gen Y employee. Invest in a Gen Y’s continuous learning, and enjoy output from a satisfied employee.
It’s important not to lose sight of the fact that every Gen Y employee is an individual and has to be judged on individual merit, not on generalities. Avoid using blanket stereotypes. While understanding that every generation has idiosyncrasies unique to them, try to focus on the individual and not the generation en masse.
Generation Y workers are some of the most independent and tech-savvy workers employers have seen. Changing the way you do business — and the way you manage, recognize, and reward your employees (including the mix of benefits and perks you offer) — is essential not only to your success in recruiting, managing, motivating and retaining Generation Y workers, but to the organization’s future success as well.