Generation Why?

It’s almost Halloween and as friends, colleagues and employees are working on ways to create their scares for this weekend, business owners are dealing with fear every day!

One of the scariest parts of being an entrepreneur is leaving the critical elements of your business’ success in the hands of others. What’s scarier still is the thought of high turnover which results in lost output and inevitably, higher costs- from thousands to millions. In order to maximize every dollar spent on human resources it is really important to truly understand who you are hiring and to recognize that something new is brewing on the workforce front. The change is led by a new group, increasingly entering the workforce and is called Generation Y.

Generation Y are those born between 1981 and 2000 and are a breed of their own! For many business owners they are truly a scary group with an entirely new workforce demeanor, as compared to Generation X or the Baby Boomers.

Generation Y brings a number of challenges to the workforce that I continue to hear about and experience first-hand via the team at Peoplesource, one of the holding companies at Wish Group. Aside from an undeniable feeling of entitlement this group of individuals also require constant feedback, a voice at every table, extremely detailed instructions on responsibilities and expectations, constant coaching and a strong recognition and rewards program. The hardest part to deal with is the idea of a level playing field for everyone in the organization regardless of job title or experience, and where respect is not given it is earned. Remember the days when the boss spoke and everyone did? Not so much the case anymore!

While these are all issues that business owners must address they are offset by a number positive traits that this group encompasses. Harnessing these are the key to truly optimizing your Generation Y staff. They are highly collaborative and accustomed to connecting worldwide. They are also extremely creative, highly adaptive, quick learners and enjoy being coached and mentored. This combined with their tech savvy creates a huge opportunity for business owners to take their businesses to new levels if molded and supervised effectively.

This part of our business at the Wish Group is really in the hands of Teri Scott, and her team at Peoplesource. When dealing with Generation Y here’s what the experts suggest.

Help Me Help You
This generation is used to constant collaboration on all fronts and work is no exception. Daily huddles, defined agendas, flushed out descriptions of expectations and deliverables and the open door policy are all successful tactics. Rewarding this group is most cost effective than trying to reprimand.

Clear a Path
Generation Y is ready to learn and needs guidance. This is a huge opportunity for employers. Dictating will not work in this scenario. Instead take the emotion out of any situation and explain the why behind decisions and process.

This group needs to feel like they belong, and are good at what they are doing or understand clearly how to do better. Create this environment by creating champions. If an employee has a question about technology for example, try giving the opportunity to a Generation Y employee to tackle. In most cases they’ll find the solution and two problems have been solved!

Respect is Earned
It is critical that managers ensure that this group is as involved as possible in the organization or department that they are a part of. Through this interaction they will see the value, expertise and knowledge that other team members bring which in turn will foster respect.

Be Ready for the Challenge
Generation Y could not be a more suited name! This generation will challenge anything that they don’t understand or agree with and ask why? Again, clear definition of expectations, processes and procedures is key. When in a meeting be ready to give everyone a chance to speak and voice their opinion because they are sure to have one!

The good news is that one of the key qualities of this group is loyalty, and they will stick by your side if they feel like they have found the right place for them. This group does have the ability to make some real change in the world and although trying to understand them can be scary at times, you’ve dealt with much worse!

Happy Halloween!

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