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The Job Blog

Managing Generation Y Employees

In the current economy employers are enjoying a buyer’s market for talent, as there are simply more people than there are jobs. Companies will though be needing more employees as they grow to pre-recession size and beyond as the boomers will be retiring in hordes, and the Generation X population will, most likely, be insufficient to replace them, ultimately leaving employers in a war for talent.

Generation Y, the youngest generation in the workplace, will therefore be pivotal to future success for growing companies; they offer the next huge opportunity and perhaps, the next considerable challenge for managers and business leaders in the new economy. Companies poised for post-recession success, must adapt their attraction and retention strategies and management techniques, to accommodate Generation Ys, in order to allow them to flourish and engage in the workplace.

Below are five tips for managing Generation Y employees:

  • Work/Life balance: Unlike their boomer parents who placed priority on their careers, Generation Y are more interested in making their jobs accommodate their family and personal lives. Keep employees engaged by implementing policies that reflect Generation Y’s need for connection to the world outside of work, such as flexible work schedules and telecommuting.
  • Continuous learning & development: Generation Y are typically well-educated and, having a higher percentage of university degrees than any generation before them, they understand the need to be continuous learners, in both their professional and personal lives. They are well-trained and have come to expect constant learning, new challenges and a steady diet of meaningful input in their daily work-lives.
  • Encourage technology: Companies need to allow Generation Y to leverage their technological skills. They have a pulse on ’all things new’ in technology and are very creative in navigating around the latest technology tools and are great researchers. They may very well be the ones who come up with the most efficient ways of re-engineering work processes in the most creative way.
  • Constant feedback: Due to the role of technology in their lives, Generation Y prefers to receive frequent feedback. Unlike the past where people received annual reviews, Generation Y needs to know how they’re doing much more regularly; they have grown up with constant feedback and recognition and therefore require ongoing evaluation. Managers might even consider a short, weekly catch-up session with them to provide input regarding their performance.
  • Mentorship: Mentoring is even more important in today’s workplace than it was when boomers were beginning their careers. Things change so fast, not only in process and technology but also in the competitive landscapes that we now work in and therefore a steady flow of professional guidance is critical. Give your Generation Y employees mentors who can help them make sense of the corporate culture, business decision-making, and the rest of the, often peculiar, business world.