The face of today’s workforce is rapidly changing with four generations working side by side: Veterans, Baby Boomers, Generation X and now Generation Y. Born in the mid-1980's and later, Generation Y are in their 20s and are just entering the workforce. With numbers estimated as high as 70 million, Generation Y is the fastest growing segment of today’s workforce expected to rise 40% in 2012. Employers cannot ignore the needs, desires and attitudes of this generation. Generation Y is the most recent cohort to enter the workforce. Far larger than the generation before it, much of Generation Y was raised in a time of economic expansion and prosperity. But Generation Y is coming to age in an era of economic uncertainty and violence. Like that “Greatest Generation,” Generation Y tends to have a strong sense of morality, be patriotic, be willing to fight for freedom, be sociable, and value home and family.
According to Sally Kane a leading careers specialist and author, Generation Y grew up with technology and rely on it to perform their jobs better. Armed with BB, laptops, cell phones and iPods, Generation Y is plugged-in 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Generation Y prefers to communicate through e-mail text messaging, Twitter, Facebook and would choose webinars and online technology to traditional lecture-based presentations. Generation Y is the most technically literate, educated, and ethnically diverse generation in history, and tends to have more discretionary income. It tends to want intellectual challenge, need to succeed, seek those who will further its professional development, strive to make a difference, and measure its own success.
Meeting personal goals is likely to matter to Generation Y, as is performing meaningful work that betters the world, and working with committed co-workers with shared values. Making a lot of money tends to be less important to Generation Y than contributing to society, parenting well, and enjoying a full and balanced life.
WHAT GENERATION Y WANTS TO DO IN WORKPLACE
In the workplace, Generation Y tends to favor an inclusive style of management, dislike slowness, and desire immediate feedback about performance. It is a truly global generation, socially conscious and volunteer-minded, and positioned to be the most demanding generation. If treated professionally, it is likely to act professionally.
Generation Y is likely to perform best when its abilities are identified and matched with challenging work that pushes it fully. Speed, customization, and interactivity – two-way non-passive engagement – are likely to help keep Generation Y focused.
DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM FOR GENERATION Y
The number of Generation Y in organizations now might arise and will increase in the future because organizations will recruit new employees to fill in the position that employees leave because they reach their pension age.
To develop Generation Y, organizations should consider some of these approaches because filling the gap in these cognitive abilities is critical for helping Generation Y succeed in meeting the strategic demands that the business will expect of them as they grow in the organization:
1. Keep Generation Y employees engaged by implementing policies that reflect their need for connection to the world outside of work, such as flex-time, telecommuting and volunteer opportunities.
2. Understand and work with the Generation Y sense of urgency. Develop challenging incentive programs that provide a vehicle for talented Generation Y employees to grow quickly within the organization.
3. Help Generation Y become acclimated to the corporate world by providing mentors who assist Generation Y employees learn the “ins and outs of the corporate culture,” as well as “how to process constructive feedback instead of discounting or withering under it, and how to increase their self-motivation and problem-solving skills.”
4. Recognize Generation Y’s need to understand their role in the organization. Communicate the “big-picture purpose” of the company and provide clarity on how individuals’ roles support the purpose and direction of the business.
5. Meet Generation Y need for ongoing feedback. Schedule regular meetings to discuss expectations, job performance and direction setting.
6. Design training programs that are aligned to Generation Y interactive learning style and that provide opportunities for them to learn how to rebound from mistakes.
7. Model effective professional communication skills that take place outside the virtual world of email, texting, or Internet Messenger (IM). Provide modeling and clear direction for face-to-face interpersonal communication.
8. Implement programs to help Generation Y develop greater problem-solving skills—skills that Generation Y employees often failed to develop in their early educational experiences.
RETENTION PROGRAM FOR GENERATION Y
By the time the Generation Y are an even larger part of the workforce, the companies that capitalize will be the ones that have already put themselves in the position to do so. There is so much information available now, especially with social media, that Generation Y will be extremely well-informed as they enter their job search.
They will find the organizations that offer strong financial incentives, opportunities for growth and advancement, and work-life balance. Recognition matters for Generation Y employees. According to a Gallup study, what Generation Y workers want most is recognition – for achievements large and small, individual and team-based, personal and professional.
While employee motivators varied across individuals, the one thing that the study found that all Generation Y employees have at least one thing in common: they want recognition and praise. They want to be recognised often: at least every seven days. Employee recognition could be the key to retaining staff, with another recent study from World at Work finding that an astonishing 92% of managers believe that recognition has a moderate-high impact on improving employee retention.
An effective recognition strategy is essentially a communication strategy that demonstrates two things to employees: that their high performance is valued and which behaviours equate to ‘success’ in the business. Of course the basic needs based on Maslow’s Pyramid must also be considered. So that to retent them in organization, We should realize and treat them rightly if we don’t want to take the cost of turnover. Employee turnover is costly to any organization in that it calls for recruiting replacements, training those replacements, and bringing productivity back to an optimal level.
stay focused. be prepared.
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