For anyone who may not know, Nadira Hira is a writer for Fortune who has really made a name for herself documenting Generation Y from an insider's perspective. She has a bog called The Gig. She has written extensively on the topic of Generation Y. One such article is called Attacting the twentysomething worker. She has also written The making of a UPS driver which described how UPS dealt with training Generation Y. If you'd like to know more, check out, her own fan site.
At the small venue conference, Nadira spoke about a number of interesting characteristics and expectations of Generation Y.
- They are connected to every friend they've ever made through social networking sites like facebook and MySpace.
- When recruiting, company's must sell themselves to Generation Y employees because the company is not only competing against its direct competitors but against the peace core, public service jobs and the option of returning home to mom and dad's house and hanging out for a while.
- Generation Y employees want to know the real vision and mission of your company and want a clear description of how they fit into your organization. They don't want the buzz word filled "mission statement" they want the truth. They are looking to be part of something bigger.
- To get the best from Generation Y, you need to give them clear guidance and assistance to get started and then they will go like crazy but they need clear initial guidelines and parameters.
- Don't measure face time with Generation Y, measure outcomes. They don't want to follow procedures just because they are procedures, they need to know why the procedures need to be followed...if there isn't a good reason why they have to give a lot of face time, then they don't want to do it. They ask, "Why do you need to see me if I can do my job at home?"
- If you are a boomer or Generation X manager...think of managing a Generation Y employee like this...how did you raise your own kids? Did you raise them to "speak up" to challenge things that don't make sense, to question unreasonable requests, that they can "have it all?" The traits that we instilled into our children are not entering into the workforce (this was a great insight to me.)
- The bottom line, as Nadira stated, is that careful consideration of the needs of Generation Y (flexible work hours, meaningful work, wanting to make a different) makes sense for every generation...its just that Generation Y seems to be very vocal about it and wants these things now...not in 20 years.
If you want to read what others thought of Nadira's presentation, read Mike Gaal's blog entry Learning, Games, Training and Generation Y.
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