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Blog Series: Part 2 – So You Hired a Gen Y – Now Get The Most Out of Them!

Blog Series: So You Hired a Gen Y – Now Get The Most Out of Them!

A Tolero Solutions blog series on how to utilize Gen Y using the Gen Y Recruitment and Retention Lifecycle™

By: Scott Span, MSOD

Phase 2 – Assess

In a previous post So You Hired a Gen Y – Now Get The Most Out of Them Through My Gen Y Recruitment and Retention Lifecycle™! I provided a high level overview of my Gen Y Recruitment and Retention Lifecycle ™
model, designed to help recruit, engage, and retain Gen Y. The article and associated webinar / workshop have generated positive feedback, and much discussion; due to the high demand, I’m writing a
6 part series that details possible strategies to get the most of your Gen Y employees.

Phase 2 of the Gen Y Recruitment and Retention Lifecycle ™


In phase 1 of the Gen Y Recruitment and Retention Lifecycle ™ I discussed the importance of communication; however, how do you know if what was communicated was understood? That is where phase 2 comes in, assessing the new Gen Y employees understanding of what they heard, and how they are going to apply that information.

Let’s face it; we all hear things in different ways. Remember that game from when you were a child (though Gen Y was probably busy playing Nintendo), ‘whisper down the lane?’ By the time the original message traveled through several people to the last person, it was never the same as originally stated by the first person.

It shouldn’t simply be assumed that the new employee has a solid understanding of what was communicated or that they feel comfortable with what they heard. Gen Y appreciates being asked for their opinions, and values the opportunity to share perspectives. It is important to check in and ask them to vocalize their understanding of what was communicated.

How did they interpret what was communicated?

What is their understanding of their new role and responsibilities as it was
presented to them?

How do they view where they fit into the organization?

Then give thought to how these responses align with the organizations messaging and expectations.

What often happens is you may find two somewhat different interpretations exist of what was communicated. If
the employee begins work and they and the organization are not on the same page from day one, it can lead to an immediate mismatch of a cultural fit and skill utilization, leading to decreased engagement and lost productivity. Listen to how the new hire tells you what they heard and how it was communicated, and be prepared to have further discussion.You should be open to make potential changes to their role and responsibilities as a result.

It is important to fully assess the new hires skills, and areas of interest. Often employees are squeezed into a specific role without the organization ever really exploring what they have to offer in other areas. Therefore, it should not be assumed that the new hire does not have skills of value outside the role they have been hired to fill. Various tools and methods can be used to thoroughly assess the employees understanding of their role and responsibilities, as well as their skills, competencies and interests. Gen Y enjoys being challenged, and they enjoy diversity of tasks. It is important to assess these things as it relates to not only the role they will be performing, but also the organizational culture and structure. You may find that they are best suited for a completely different role than they are performing currently; one which may be a better fit and increase engagement and productivity.

Following the Gen Y Recruitment and Retention Lifecycle ™ can help you to get the most out of your
new Gen Y employees. Additional steps and action items are developed at each stage, customized to your specific type of business and organizational culture. Customized workshops have also been developed around this approach. If you are Interested in additional strategies and learning more about how to implement positive Gen Y recruitment, engagement, and retention strategies please
contact us or at [email protected]

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Nichole Henley

I’m pretty sure the students we just hired fall into the gen y classification (as well as myself) and I have to say… which may not be appropriate for this topic here….I’m finding it difficult to motivate some of my students. Granted, all 12 were given specific assignments (I disagree with this process however I was outvoted) in 12 different codes within the same organization. Some students are previous hires some are completely new to our organization. As the the lead for the students, I’ve given them a group project to tackle a question. They must accomplish this as a team, provide to me a POA&M, decide what the product will look, decide on the project itself however it must include exposure to our organization (meaning it has to broaden their perspective of the organization outside of their normal assignments) and provide “value”—and they can interpret what that value would be. Some have exceeded my expectations and have stepped up to the challenge while others leave more to be desired. My intentions were for them to work on project management skills, learn to work with people in a team environment, learn how to prioritize tasks and communicate with their team members and supervisors. I’ve received questions as “do I have to do this? I have enough work to do, why should I do this? I already know enough about the organization. etc etc ” Any tips or suggestions to get the whole group engaged without threatening to be fired, or brand the project mandatory, or any other dictator-like actions? I WANT them to want to do this. After hearing some of the students complain about not being challenged and the prior studnets being assigned back to their normal duties, I figured this challenge would be a great opportunity for these students to shine. It’s interesting to see how this project folds out

Scott Span

Thanks for the comments. Motivation in general is always a complex issue, as it is hard to generalize (even from a generational perspective) and is somewhat personal. It sounds like you have a good approach in this case. The questions you received are not that out of the norm.

I guess my question would be have asked them if these are the type of challenges they are looking for at work? Some of the issues may be related simply to the dynamics or make up of the team and not necessarily generationally related. I would also suggest being transparent with them, let them know you are trying to help them and meet what you feel are their needs. This does not mean allowing them to not perform tasks that need to be done, however let them know what’s in if for them from your perspective.