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Developing Leaders: What’s all the fuss about Gen Y?

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in Hiring,HR Management,Human Resources,Leaders & Managers,Management Training

Leading Gen Y workers can be a baffling experience.

“You pick the clean-cut kid with Eagle Scout on his résumé, and he shows up late to work, bad-mouths his co-workers and steals the stapler off your desk,” laments one leader.

“Then this long-haired kid who listens to his MP3 player all day shows up to work early, works hard, stays late and says ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’ It used to be that I could pick them out of a crowd. Not anymore. Not with this generation. How do you find the good capital ‘G’ ones?”

You may not find them. But you may be able to train them.

Teach them skills they need, including the values of your organization:

Spell out what it means to be a good corporate citizen. One employer established a “no jerks” policy that banned gossip and excuses while encouraging hard work, courtesy and honesty.

Teach critical thinking. Good judgment usually comes with experience, but critical thinking can sharpen your judgment through a step-by-step process.

The key: thinking ahead to probable moves and countermoves. One way to practice this is to scrutinize your own experiences.

Help with self-evaluation. Some questions employees can ask themselves: Am I getting enough done? Am I following the priorities I set? How can I eliminate time-wasters? How can I improve the quality of my work? Am I taking enough initiative?

Find out how you can keep them. On their first day and often after that, ask Gen Y’ers how you can help them do their jobs better and whether there’s anything else you can do to keep them.

Practice what you preach.
It’s hard, but it works. Remember that Gen Y’ers have keen BS detectors.


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