Good for GenY In The Workplace Is Good For Everyone

By Lisa Correu, Principal/Job Search Advocate AfterSchool Career Workshops

For the first time in history three generations of employees are working side by side. Baby Boomers met Generation X and now both are confronting GenY and scratching their heads. This seems rather silly since at one time Boomers and GenXers were the whippersnappers. Woodstock and Boy George anyone? So bring on the GaGa and let's have a party!

Allowing employees the opportunity to grow shouldn't stop at Gen Y.

So how do you incorporate this bright, enthusiastic and innovative workforce?

  • Offer guidance on how to best perform. This group responds positively to instructions. A detailed job description and defined set of goals works wonders. Let them know that there’s room for growth.
  • Make it known that yours is a place for new ideas. This will encourage all of your employees to speak up.
  • Offer encouragement and support along with criticism. No, this is not handholding; it’s simply another form of guidance. And everyone, not matter how old, likes to be told they’re succeeding.
  • Assign an office mentor. This just makes sense. Pairing an outstanding employee with a younger entry-level worker passes on good habits, wisdom and experience in exchange for alternative solutions to problems, new insights and energy.
  • Plan a 30-day work review. Don’t forget that professional employment is new territory for a young person. Leaving them hanging for a year enforces unfavorable habits that developed without proper instruction. Outline the next set of goals and plan another review at 90 days. This also encourages a good examination of the job itself; do the duties need to be modified or streamlined?
  • Understand that to them social media time is your water cooler time (do they still make water coolers?). They keep up with events in real time and it never hurts to have trend-spotters in your office. Just like anything else (like the too long smoke-break) if you see abuse point it out with consequences. Oh and make sure your social media policy is firm and in place.

Hiring staff with diverse attitudes, ideas and inspirations is where innovation begins and GenY thinks globally and without boundaries. They're eager to contribute and want to be a part of something meaningful. Let them inspire and energize your workspace.

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