How To Get The Best Out Of Your Gen-Y Employees

Generation-Y are those born between 1980 and 1994. According to Bryan Patterson from the Herald Sun in his article A-Z of generation Y, 8 July 2007, there are now around 4.5 million Generation-Y Australians, which is nearly 20% of the population.

Generation-Y has been described as fickle, self-focused and transient. Anecdotally, managers say that they are demanding, impatient, difficult to manage and difficult to retain. Sounds like a disaster in the making for employers!

It is not all bad news, though. Listed below are some really good reasons why you should employ Generation-Y workers:

  • they are the most educated-minded generation in history;
  • they are more optimistic about life;
  • they are generally socially aware;
  • they are tolerant and accepting of cultural differences;
  • they are technically savvy and will use this skill to find smarter ways of working; and
  • they know how to find information and use this to generate new ideas.

So how do you get the best out of Generation-Y?

The things that matter most to Gen-Y workers are, or should be, things that also matter to you as an employer.

They want their job to have a purpose, be fun and they want to feel that what they do counts. They want to be closely mentored, be given constructive feedback and to be given opportunities to gain new skills. As they have a low boredom threshold they are always keen to undertake new challenges and new experiences.

Eric Chester an author of nine books for and about youth, outlines the following eight strategies for managing and motivating Generation-Y:

  1. Let them know that what they do matters.
  2. Tell them the truth – don’t try to pull the wool over their eyes.
  3. In order to get buy in, explain the why of what you re asking them to do and tell them what’s in it for them.
  4. Learn their language – communicate in terms they understand.
  5. Be on the lookout for “rewarding opportunities”.
  6. Praise them in public – make them a star.
  7. Make the workplace fun.
  8. Model behaviour – don’t expect one thing out of them that you don’t and won’t deliver yourself. Be the example.

Not surprisingly, these tips, while especially effective with Gen-Y workers, apply equally to your entire staff; it’s just that the Gen-Yers expect these behaviours. Older workers might be surprised by them.

One little extra tip for you to think about, if you learn how to motivate and train Generation-Y, you will earn their undying loyalty.

This post appeared in the Hippo Jobs Newsletter last week. Hippo is a recruitment agency that targets young Australians and visitors from overseas who want casual or part-time work.

:: Source: Shifted HR