Whenever a new generation enters the workforce, there is a transition period. Some of you may ask why this is since it’s not like the generation is new to the planet, just to the workforce. In other words some find it strange that there is tension, misunderstandings, conflict and an overall decrease in work output when a new generation joins the team. The reason for this initial adjustment period is because the new generation is interacting with others in a work environment instead of a social atmosphere. In the adjustment period, both the veteran staff and the new generation are learning how to interact in a work environment.
Some of the unique characteristics of Generation Y are: they are comfortable with all forms of technology, they have lots of questions and expect instant answers, they like to stay connected (they take smart phones and tablets everywhere), and they like to do work independently. I just read an article by Elizabeth Harrin called 10 Tips for Managing Gen Y that I think has some really useful information. In the article she gives ten tips on how leaders need to adjust their management style to fit Generation Y. They are:
- Be their mentor – Millenials want to self manage and expect their supervisors to be mentors.
- Give feedback quickly – Millenials are used to using technology to obtain answers almost in real time. So managers can mimic this by giving feedback often.
- Watch out for itchy feet – Millenials don’t plan to keep the same job all their life and will change jobs frequently (usually every 2-3 of years).
- Provide challenges – Millenials like to be challenged and will seek accommodate this.
- Make work fun – Millenials realize that they spend more time at work (waking hours) than at home and therefore expect work to be fun.
- Don’t discriminate – The Y Generation grew up with both parents working and therefore they do not expect to be judged based on their gender. (They think that gender discrimination is a thing of the past.)
- Be family friendly – Millenials expect to remain in the workforce even after they have kids. They want to instead work flexible hours and even work from home.
- Encourage technology – This is where Generation Y excels and companies would be wise to foster this talent.
- Offer personal and professional development – Millenials are very interested in continuously improving and seek employment that offers on the job training and/or cross training. They value being able to constantly update their resume because they know it will make them more marketable.
- Allow international mobility – Since Millenials are always using technology, they are able to connect with people all over the world and consequentially they seek careers all over the world as well.
Here is the link if you would like to read the entire article.