3 Ways to Get the Most Out of Generation Y
Gen Xers and, to some extent, Baby Boomers created Generation Y, and now they need to figure out how to mentor them properly, says Lt. Col. Bruce Bright, CCIM, director of business development for The Sanders Trust. He are some takeaway points from a lecture he is giving on the topic, aimed at helping businesses learn to get the most out of Millenials.
"This generation is a great group that needs proper mentoring in order to fully get them to operate to their potential," says Lt. Col. Bright. "It is imperative that corporations understand Gen Y, or they will lose them in the workforce."
Generation Y is loosely defined as people born between 1982 and 2001; those ages 26 to 7 today, he says. Alternate names for Gen Y are Millennials, Trophy Kids, and the We Generation.
"They like free content, the idea of telecommuting, everything social, things that are custom-fit just as they want them, and wireless everything," says Lt. Col. Bright. "They dislike things like mass marketing and restricted access to anything. They like Google and social networking — their hobbies include MySpace, Facebook and hanging out t mom and dad's place. They expect to be seen, heard and accommodated."
This is not necessarily bad, just different, he says in an interview with Fox Alabama. Lt. Col. Bright suggests employers use the following strategies for dealing with Gen Y workers.
1. Make the most of their technological knowledge. "They're technologically smarter than their elders, and they know it," he says. "They've got the edge there."
2. Don't lower your standards. "Keep your standards up," but be prepared with a reason, says Lt. Col. Bright. "Either explain why jeans won't work," or don't get angry. "They have a lot of 'why?' questions. If you can't answer actually why," then it perhaps it's something worth reexamining.
3. Don't make them wait. "They don't want to wait; they are point-and-click," he says. "If you make them wait, they'll leave." As such, Millenials "don't want to waste their time with trial and error — they want to know your way of doing things so they do them right the first time."
He stresses that these 20-somethings are incredibly productive, they need only be mentored and properly managed to effectively motivate them to be top performers. Lt. Col Bright has based his lecture on management techniques andwhat Gen Y wants, which he is available to give to groups of all sizes, upon his experience with commanding a Marine Fighter Attack Squadron "full of Gen Y'ers."
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