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Managing Gen Y employees

Generation Y, also known as the ‘millennials’, are the fastest growing segment of the workforce. Raised in a time of global economic prosperity during the mid-80s, Generation Y is sometimes perceived as the most high maintenance cohort to ever enter the force. Often dissatisfied with their jobs and employers, these educated and confident youngsters need proper guidance to bring out their potential.

So how do you bring out the best in your Generation Y workforce?

Understand their motivation

The first step to managing Generation Y workers is to understand them. Generation Y workers were socialised in a digital world and are therefore known for being technologically savvy. Continuously wired and connected, Generation Y workers are highly informed social creatures who value human connections and enjoy team work and collaborative tasks.

Goal-oriented

With a desire to be intellectually challenged, Generation Y workers are also known for their goal-oriented mindset. However, as highly skilled multi-taskers, they often suffer from a lack of direction and can end up taking on too many tasks at once.

Make sure you set goals and targets that can be easily measured throughout the process. With unparalleled intellectual authority, Generation Y workers have less respect for organisational authority based on ‘rank’, and instead respond to individuals – no matter the level of the organisation they are at - who portray exceptional intelligence and results. So, you can’t assume that the title ‘manager’ will automatically entitle you to respect from your Generation Y employees.

Ambitious and driven

Generation Y workers are ambitious. With an abundance of financial and personal goals, these employees enter the workforce with high expectations of success, looking for early rewards rather than long-term investment pay-outs.

Although they may be branded as ‘me-centric' workers, Generation Y employees have a strong sense of morality and fairness, openly questioning the actions of their superiors if they seem biased or unjust. This ‘why’ generation has little trust in organisations. Consequently, their career path may consist of a series of short term transactional employment relationships, unless management exceeds their expectations and provides them with a sense of belonging.

Managing expectations

Firstly, as a manager, you need to tell Generation Y employees what is expected of them in a clear and concise manner. By informing them about how they fit into the ‘big picture’, you can motivate Generation Y employees to work towards an end goal, providing them with a sense of ‘value’ in the firm.

By laying out the company’s rules, processes and expectations in detail, Generation Y employees will be able to approach their tasks with proper guidance. If you show them that success can be reached through dedication and hard work, Generation Y workers can be motivated to dedicate themselves to the task while enjoying the challenge.

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