As promised, here’s part two of What Gen Y Really Wants at Work
Management Style / Team
- Team / Extended Type of Family
- Up to Date Technology
- Balance / Flexibility
- Caring & Casual Environments
Unlike Gen X, many of whom grew up as latchkey kids with parents working all the time, most Y’s grew up with very involved parents. Because of this, Gen Y’s are used to lots of input and feedback! Many want their colleagues at work to be like an extended family. People who can support them and who they can joke around with but who will also challenge them.
They grew up with constant feedback from parents, teachers, tutors, coaches etc., often telling them they can do anything. As a result, Gen Y’s need regular, specific and concrete feedback and I’m not talking about the traditional bi-annual performance review. One Gen Y told me that he started his job in September but didn’t get any feedback till almost January. In his frustration he told me “Karyn at university I’m getting constant feedback and grades about how I’m doing – right now I have no clue if I’m even close to what is required of me.” Getting regular, respectful and timely feedback is critical to engage and motivate this generation.
Unlike previous generations, this generation strongly believes that respect is to be earned, not given. So just because you are a manager, president, teacher, HR professional (they probably don’t care about your title), realize that they care first if you will respect them. In fact I don’t use my “Dr” title with them because it creates a barrier and most of them don’t really care. What they mostly care about is genuine respect. When managers treat them with respect, honesty, and authenticity, they will not only listen but will want to please you.
They want everything to happen fast and quick (after all that is what they are used to) so making sure that they can have the best and fastest technology to do their jobs will not only help engage them but also be their most efficient!
I strongly believe that every generation can learn from each other and one strong area the rest of can learn from Gen Y is their desire “to have a life”. They want balance and flexibility. They love goals and projects, so companies who have learned to be flexible around schedules but who have focused more on getting the job done with excellence have succeeded with this generation! After all, working at 2 am for most generations is unappealing, but for young creative Gen Y minds that is sometimes when their best creative energy flows.
Remember: they want their work environment to be a kind of extended family. A place where people genuinely care about each other, work together and support each other (sounds good!) Managers who are more casual in dress but also in attitude will engage this generation!