Most Gen Y workers have only been in the business world a short time and they often expect their boss to also have the same supportive “best friend” style they experienced with their parents, teachers and coaches. That’s been their model. They are comfortable with this and know how to respond.
- Be Flexible – About work schedules, boundaries about proper work outfits, management of their time, and methods and processes used to accomplish the work. Allow Gen Y to use their social networks to gather data and connect.
- Be Respectful of Ideas – Millennials don’t respect titles; they respect people. They have a lot of ideas to share and they bring a new fresh perspective. They have much to contribute and are motivated when they see their ideas used.
- Communicate Often – Gen Ys need to know what’s going on. They deal well with the truth. When you level with them and provide clear reasons and rationale, they know how to manage that data. They do not do well when they don’t have information—there is too much ambiguity. They respond well to feedback and enjoy ongoing dialogue whether that is live, via text or email.
- Be Easy to Approach – Please don’t think “easy” means reducing standards or expectations. Gen Y prefers honest and direct feedback, they are used to open dialogue and respect direct conversations.
- Be Caring – You know and they know you are not their parents, and you may or may not really care—but showing some interest and concern will take you much further in obtaining the kind of output and efficiency your Gen Y talent can deliver.
A suggestion is to try one of these five strategies and see what results you obtain. If you’re currently managing Gen Y then leave a comment to let us know which strategies are working for you as you develop an environment that supports and motivates this young talent!
Diane Spiegel is CEO of The End Result Partnerships and is one of the nation’s recognized leaders in corporate training and leadership development. With more than 25 years of experience, Diane is an industry leader and innovator who created the firm’s highly successful training methodology, Sage Leadership Tools. An organizational architect, Diane specializes in developing training plans that offer companies a strategic and creative process to educate and develop their employees, and provide the framework for cultural and organizational change. Diane earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology and psychology from California State University, Fullerton, and she completed post-graduate study in employee relations and organizational development at the University of California, Irvine. Diane is adjunct faculty at University California Irvine working with professional staff on the impact of the Multi-Generations in the workplace. Diane’s clients include Celebrity Cruises, Corinthian Colleges, Costco, Del Taco International, Southern California Edison, Jamba Juice, Legoland California, Taleo, Royal Caribbean International, Sunglass Hut/Watch Station, The Gap, The Limited, 3M, and Wet Seal.
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