Managing Gen Y

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We have to face the facts – one day “Gen Y” or “Millennials” as they are also known, will outnumber Traditionalists, Boomers and X’ers in the workplace. Their culture and their ways will become dominant. May is right around the corner, where a new wave of Millennials will be graduating into the workplace. Managers can help this group grow and thrive in a multi-generational workplace, as well as learn a thing or two about this “breed”.

Millennials like structure. This is the way they live, and like to know what is happening when, where and with whom. My own Millennials know what is going on every minute of the day and what they have to do. They thrive in a structured environment.

They are used to being part of a team…..and like it!! They want to make friends with people at work. Perfect opportunity to train this group to be a team and work together in the workplace as well.

Millennials look to upper management for leadership and guidance, as well as constant feedback. They need to understand the big picture and the opportunities that lie ahead. A great chance for mentoring relationships to be formed. As a Traditionalist, Boomer or X’er, the experience you have gained is invaluable. What better way to share than to take a Millennial under your wing, and invest the time in their success.

Millennials have a can-do attitude. Encourage that attitude as these are your future leaders. They are used to their ideas and opinions being heard and don’t like to be ignored. Take a moment and listen – you never know where the next great idea may come from.

Boredom for this group is a huge no-no. They like being challenged and look towards the “what’s next” coming down the pike. This gives them a chance to enhance their skills and show what they can do.

Work-life balance is very important to this group. They are used to juggling multiple activities at once. Although they are not opposed to working hard, they are not interested in working the 50-60 hour work week as the previous generations had so defined. Balance is important, and for the firms that miss the boat, they do so at their own risk.

More Millennials are on the way. Following some of these suggestions will lay a solid foundation for a lifelong working relationship.

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