What not to Ignore about Gen Y

The companies that are most successful in the coming years will be those that attract and retain the best talent, and realize the need to change their culture to match the needs of the workforce.

Gen Y will comprise a large percentage of the workforce so you will not have the luxury of refusing to address their unique needs. Employers that are sensitive to the following Gen Y needs will have a distinct advantage at retaining young workers and the opportunity to reap the benefits of A-level talent in the increasingly competitive marketplace:

  • Flexibility: Work/life balance is no longer a buzzword among Gen Y workers. Happy to be held accountable to results, this generation wants to have control over when and how they go about their work. They desire true balance in their lives and seek flexible work schedules. They relish the option of being able to telecommute or work from a home office.
  • Career-pathing: Millennials seek upward mobility. They want to not only know what is expected of them in their current job, but more importantly, what skills they need to develop to move onto the next position.
  • Feedback: The annual review is no longer enough for millennials. This generation expects feedback and validation more often. Gen Yers want employers to notice and react to their performance. Show them how they are making an impact and how their work contributes to the bottom line.
  • Training: If you want a job well done, employers need to tell these workers how to do it. But don’t just give orders, give the reasoning behind them. Besides offering complete training programs provide a mentor to help bridge gaps.
  • Access to technology: Many Gen Yers are used to having the newest and best technology at their fingertips. E-mail and Internet access are musts. They also might expect to be allowed use of iPods and PDAs on the job.
  • Open communication: Showing these workers appreciation for individuality and letting them be expressive will keep them around. Allow them to have input in the decision-making process — they want to be heard and involved in all aspects of the organization. While they are skeptical, Gen Yers value fairness and ethical behavior.

HT: Jim Peduto

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