Generation Y individuals are also known as Trophy Kids, a term that reflects the recent trend where no one loses and everyone’s a winner. This often leads to a perceived sense of entitlement, as well as difficulty accepting criticism and coming to terms with failure.
These days you hear a lot about the impact Gen Y’ers are having on the workplace, and the challenges the old farts (term of endearment, people) are having adapting to their mindset.
Gen Y’ers demand more responsibility, more feedback, more involvement in decision-making and more flexible work hours to satisfy their need for a better live/work balance.
From my experience at Copeland, I have discovered that Generation Y employees are also scrupulous, hard-working, responsible and eager for challenges. They will be the first to hold management accountable. (Meaning they get on my case pretty fast!)
This excellent article provides tons of insights. My favourite one: “They know you’re the boss. They don’t care.”
Some suggestions on how to motivate the Generation Y’ers to be the problem-solving, team-oriented, over-achieving monsters we love them to be.
> Engage them in bridging the generational gap with other staff. Since they’re plugged in 24/7 and at ease in online spaces, ask them to assist in bringing everyone else up to their level.
> They want mentorship and see its value, so have some of your older staff mentor them. It helps both to understand the other better.
> They make effective mentors themselves, so ask your Gen Y’ers to represent your company with the local colleges and universities; encourage them to share what they know to the students coming behind them.
> Give frequent and immediate feedback and praise. They got it at home and school and it works for them.
But they’ll still get stuck into you if you mess up.