Generation Yers (also known as “millennials”) are men and women born between 1980 and 2000. Today, they make up roughly 25 percent of the workplace. By 2025, this figure will likely rise to 75 percent, according to a study by the Business and Professional Women’s Foundation.
If you’re not managing Gen Y workers today, chances are you will be soon. Here are tips to get the most from these individuals:
Demonstrate a path for career growth
Gen Y isn’t inclined to offer loyalty to a company, unless the company displays loyalty in return. These employees prefer to stay with a business that shows a clear-cut path for their long-range career goals.
They want to give and get feedback
Gen Y employees want feedback on their performance. If they do well, praise their efforts. If their work falls short, offer clearly defined metrics and benchmarks for the next project. Also, encourage them to share their opinions. They want to feel they have a stake in the project’s outcome.
Prepare to be flexible
Gen Y works better in an environment with plenty of options. If possible, ask such employees to choose which projects they prefer to work on and with whom. Give them the opportunity to work from home (and give them the tools to make this work). They also tend to thrive in a casual workplace environment.
Use technology to get your message across
Leverage this computer-savvy generation’s ease with technology. Use emails, instant messenger and Twitter to keep workers informed about the business.
Show the importance of face-to-face interaction
A generation reared on text messaging may need a little coaching for workplace situations that demand face-to-face encounters. By requiring that some interactions take place in a one-to-one setting, you’ll help them understand the value of interacting with other workers and clients in a professional manner.