Practical Tips for Managers to Motivate Gen YBy Dr. Karyn Gordon on March 8, 2010 in Uncategorized
As more Gen Y’s enter the workforce, many older generations seem puzzled and often confused about this “new generation”. They’ve heard stories, they’ve read articles and they wonder if managing this new generation is really going to be different.
As a consultant who works with all generations, I’m excited for this challenge in our workplace cultures! Why? Because I think Gen Y will force the rest of us to get our act together. They will encourage us to step up to the plate, communicate with respect, be clear about our expectations, and partner and work as a team.
I’ve worked with managers of all generations, so here are three tips for how managers can successfully manage Gen Y, especially during these tough economic times:
- Focus on the Power of Influence, Not the Power of Authority
Many managers believe that because of their position younger generations “should” respect them. However, many Gen Y’s believe respect is to be “earned” not “given”. Simply listening, praising work well done and being genuinely interested in your employees (which are basic skills great managers do anyways) will not only help retain and motivate them, but also inspire them to work hard for you!
- Point the Finger Inward, not Outward
It’s easy to blame, point fingers and throw our hands up wondering why this next generation is “this way”. They are often described as being entitled, spoiled and the “Me” generation. Yet we forget that as a culture we’ve taught them this! Instead of blaming them, we should ask ourselves the question – what can I learn from Gen Y? What can they learn from me? Simply changing our perception towards them radically changes how we communicate to them and how they communicate back to us.
- Don’t be Fooled by Arrogance
Often I read that Gen Y’s are ‘so confident’, yet Gen Y’s have often admitted to me that they battle with insecurity, anxiety and worry. Their insecurity is often covered by a mask of arrogance. As we go through this economic crisis, expect anxiety and insecurity to rise. Simply investing into your employees, asking how they are feeling about the crisis (again a basic skill great managers do) will go a long way toward engaging and motivating them!
For further insight into Gen Y in the workplace, check out my post What Gen Y Really Wants At Work. Stay tuned for part two tomorrow to learn the remaining tips.