Imagine this scenario: The brilliant Gen Y you hired less than a year ago has come into your office to say that he is leaving the company. He explains that he’s just not getting what he needs in this job. You are shocked. You gave him plenty of time to get his feet wet and assured him that he will have a shot at a management position in “no time”. Co-workers have shared how they worked their way up into present positions with many years of company loyalty, and occasional long work days. But, there was no reason for him to feel stress or pressure on the job. His work schedule is as good as yours and anyone else in the company. What went wrong? You are disappointed and conclude that he is feeling entitled and had unrealistic expectations.
Sound familiar? This is a common event in today’s generational workplace, particularly with Generation Y. Thirty percent are anticipated to have an average of seven jobs while in their 20s. They move around from job to job for two primary reasons:
· They see insecurity in the job market and must assemble skills for their career development.
· They often run up against obstacles in the workplace that block their chance to grow those skills.
Generational differences are the culprit. Baby Boomer bosses and the youngest employees in the workforce today are miles apart in their interpretation of work ethic, loyalty, and technology. The Society for Human Resource Management found that one of the top three priorities of companies in 2011 will be to train managers for resolving generational differences. It is not too late to dispel the frustration over generational differences in your workplace.
Here are four tips for every manager to help them keep their Gen Y employees:
Tip #1. Uncover the mystery. Study up about generational differences and learn about Generation Y. Find help online. Several good books are available, or you could schedule a presentation from a local expert. Demonstrate to all of your employees that you know about and understand generational differences and similarities. Initiate discussions among your generations. Speak about differences in terms of generation, rather than young and old workers.
Tip #2. Have conversations with your Gen Y employees. You might ask: How’s the family? They care more about family and friends than success at work. Find out why it is so important for them. Be prepared to talk about parents in a way you ordinarily would not. Remember, they like and look up to their parents. Find out what you have in common. Share stories around your family, friends and time in the military. If you share your story, keep it short unless invited to say more.
Tip #3. Be transparent. Be absolutely truthful, and even revealing, about what you do and do not know about them and their technology, their work ethic, and why they dress the way they do. Open yourself to understanding why.
Tip #4. Decide on two things that you will learn from Gen Yers and ask for their help. Let them know how much you appreciate their skills and knowledge and their willingness to share. Once they know you are interested in them they will be more willing to learn from you and grow their career with your company.
I hope that these four tips will help you understand and motivate your Gen Y employees so you can have better staff retention. And now, I invite you to learn more about working with younger workers from my new white paper, “Workplace How to Reduce It and Manage Gen Y For An Increase in Company Profits “. You’ll find it free when you visit http://GenerationalDivideCoaching.com.From Tinker Barnett Generational Gap Coaching”Connecting Generations in the Workplace”