How to Benefit From What Generation Y Employees Can Offer


The people born after Generation X that is from the early 80’s till the end of the century are commonly termed as Generation Y, aka Millennials. Thought by many as the rowdiest generation till date, millennials have posed a drastically different sort of employee for the average leader, who is now scrambling to adjust their views to match the expectations of this radical new sort of consumer/employee. The percentage of Millennials has recently surpassed that of Baby Boomers in the U.S.; with such a large portion of their consumer being Millennials, businesses are right to be worried.

In order to benefit the most from what Generation Y has to offer, it is important for leaders to know how to understand them. Gen Yers come from a time where there was global financial crisis but also when technology was at its peak. Thus, their mindset is far better equipped to handle with machinery and tech than the basic rules of a work room. Increase your patience with them and take the time to explain things like office protocol and how to present oneself professionally. Simple things like business meeting etiquette may be completely unfamiliar to them; don’t take risks and at first explain the concepts before you let millennials take control of the reins.

Millennials are able to learn new processes swiftly and can pick up on patterns within seconds. However, this also makes them a little unpredictable and when it comes to switching jobs they are more likely to do so. Millennials are always searching for the “right job” something which they love doing. If your office doesn’t resonate with them, then they won’t be staying long. It’s best to give them work which they excel at and are proficient at doing.

For example, put a techie in programming and a writer in publications; both employees will be happy and more likely to stay.

Millennials are the most productive bunch of employees you can hope for – you just have to let them do it in their own style. These teenagers and young adults spent their childhood blogging, instant messaging and playing video games as recreation. They are constantly looking for new software and apps to increase efficiency and productivity. Your Millennials will end up teaching you a new way to work that may change your life forever. Let them run things for a day and you may very well be surprised.

Generation Y are also your risk takers. They are the ideal entrepreneurs because none of them are afraid of failure. A good advantage of video games is that they teach you to try again and try harder in a different way to succeed. For Millennials that is precisely why failure is not that big an issue: the learning of the skill itself matters more. Look towards your younger employees when struggling to make a decision and take their opinions into consideration. Who knows, a radical new line of thought may be just what you need.

Despite what some people may say, the employees of Gen Y can contribute a great deal at the office. It is up to the boss to seek out the best ways to make their presence the most beneficial. We are all diverse in some way. Learning to take time to understand the needs and expectations of others can help you meet your employees where they are at. In doing so, you can build mutual respect and leverage what each person has to offer. Most people will do the minimum of what is expected for a paycheck. However, learning to navigate your leadership style to meet the needs of those you lead can take your team, production, creativity, and innovation to new levels.

Listening with an open mind can be one of the best tools a leader has in today’s competitive workplaces. Being a leader means supporting employee’s needs and setting each of them up for success.

Make good choices and have a great day! Only you get to choose how you feel about it!

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Dr. Paul Gerhardt is a skilled leadership and diversity trainer who builds customized workshops online or at your workplace. He is a tenured professor of management and a diversity and leadership well-respected and trusted trainer who helps organizations get amazing returns on their training investment. Consider inviting Dr. Paul Gerhardt to do customized leadership or diversity training at your organization. Most organizations find that diversity and leadership training by the right trainer yields a significant instant return on investment.

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Some say he’s half man half fish, others say he’s more of a seventy/thirty split. Either way he’s a fishy bastard.