So how does a leader effectively manage, engage, retain, and communicate with Gen Y? What makes Gen Y different at work? How will those just embarking on their careers work and play? What are the technology and culture shifts occurring in the workplace? These are just a few topics we will explore.
As a Gen Y’er myself, who also does work in generational management, I have a few thoughts at what makes us different at work. Gen Y’ers believe in a work hard play hard type of environment. This generation doesn’t see the need to be attached to a desk for eight hours a day if they can get their work completed in six. Gen Y want something beyond an all consuming career. They want true work life balance. They believe they can raise their children, spend time with family and social networks, and still meet challenges and achieve goals at both home and at work. If work can be done at home, or a conference call can be had while at a soccer game for their children, they expect that flexibility.
Per the technology and culture shifts that are occurring (and need to stick in any organization that wishes to attract and retain Gen Y and younger talent), simply put the use of new and up and coming forms of technology are a necessity. Gen Y is used to technology; some were even born with it at their fingertips. They aren’t scared of new technologies and adapt fast to new innovations. To attract, retain and engage Gen Y don’t shy away from new technologies that enable telecommuting or virtual work environments, or that help contribute to work life balance. Utilize video teleconferencing, Webinars, laptops with wireless access. Technology can be used to encourage group and project based work. Use technology to build in collaboration, create informal team building exercises, and as leverage for positive public relations for your organization.
Regarding culture, open and honest communication and a culture of performance rewards is a necessity. Gen Y believes that communication is key in all directions, up, down, and lateral. To get the most out of
Gen Y at work, create an environment where they are encouraged and rewarded for speaking up regarding ideas and concerns, regardless of level in the organization. Add a structured coaching or mentoring program to your organization. Build in monthly or quarterly development check-ins and create a space for discussion. Communication often leads to innovation, increased trust, and engagement. Gen Y has a low tolerance for political bureaucracy and doesn’t buy into the “tenure” or “chain of command” approach .They believe results, not years of service or level in the organization, drive team success. Consider changing the structure of your organization to a more flat model with less hierarchy and more rewards based on merit and performance, not tenure and title.
These technological and cultural shifts are not going away any time soon as Gen Y is a growing part of the workforce, for government to attract and retain Gen Y talent they must adopt a more flexible approach. For additional insights visit our blog: http://thetolerothinktank.blogspot.com/
Also check out our article: Generational Engagement-Top 10 Ways to Engage Gen Y Employees!