As the Baby Boomers are leaving the workforce, Generation X is taking over the management level. One problem they’re facing? Learning how to adjust to the ever-increasing number of millennials, or Generation Y employees who are entering the workplace. How can you adapt your strategies to ensure that you’re getting the most out of this younger generation?
You’ve heard the complaints: they’re slackers. They’re job-hoppers. They’re entitled and disrespectful. But that perception differs from reality, and it also doesn’t take into consideration the strengths they bring to the workplace:
- they’re technology-savvy, especially with social media
- they are strong multi-taskers
- they have high expectations of their employers
- they are comfortable collaborating and working in teams.
Here’s how to engage your millennial employees and get the best and connect with them:
- Respect their tech knowledge. Encourage your younger staff members to make your company more tech-friendly by taking their suggestions for improvement and asking them to help their coworkers who are less technologically comfortable.
- Encourage mentorship. Pair up your Generation Y employees with boomers or Xers so the older employees can teach them, directly or indirectly, your corporate culture as well as sharing their experience and company/industry knowledge.
- Keep an open mind. While younger workers need to know how things are usually done, let them share ideas on how to do things differently. Their perspective may help your company connect better with clients, prospects, and your other employees.
- Get involved. Making a positive difference in the world is more important to a high percentage of millennials than getting professional recognition. Find a social mission for your business, some kind of community involvement that engages your employees and helps them pursue their need for a higher purpose.
Of course, you can’t just change your entire business model or corporate culture just to accommodate this new generation. Baby boomers and Generation Xers have done well for themselves using their own strengths, like the ability to think strategically, to adapt to changes, and to communicate. They also know how to take advice and leverage collective wisdom. Allowing each group to use their best skill sets while learning new ones will help your business as a whole and help keep turnover low.
What have you found when working with the younger generation? What tips would you offer? Share them below...