Early in my career, I managed millions of dollars of business and hundreds of people. I was very good at my job and was promoted often. Unfortunately most of the managers that I worked for were poor leaders but wonderful people. I would describe them as temperamental, moody, threatening and demanding. Fortunately or unfortunately these bosses also owned the companies.
The reason I bring this up is because as a young leader I felt privileged to be in the position I was in. I managed a $26 million dollar budget when I was 28 and was responsible for creating and marketing new products internationally. With all that responsibility, I still felt like I had no voice in the organization, and when the pressure was on I suffered from serious stress related problems like migraines and stomach upset because I was constantly walking on eggshells waiting for the next full blown tantrum.
One of the biggest lessons I learned when I was starting my leadership journey and I continue to apply to my current coaching practice is listening skills. (more…)
Traditionally, money has been a huge motivator in the business world. Now enter Gen-Y, and money is just not enough to keep them at the same job, productive and motivated.
The question then becomes, what can a business do to keep their Gen-Y Employees motivated?
Members of this generation are generally borne between 1982 and 2004. They are well educated, accustomed to communicating electronically, motivated by a sense of purpose and don’t separate work/life and social/life. They see their lives holistically.
Wikipedia identified Millennials as sometimes called the “Trophy Generation”, or “Trophy Kids,” a term that reflects the trend in competitive sports, as well as many other aspects of life, where mere participation is frequently enough for a reward.
This reward for participation is a huge clue for companies in terms of understanding how to engage this generation of employees. Studies predict that Generation Y will switch jobs frequently if they are not satisfied or feel like they are not progressing in their jobs.
It has been made clear that Gen Y views work like a continuation of their education and are motivated by learning, feedback and coaching. One positive approach that managers can make is to give feedback frequently and outline clear identifiable goals that will motivate their employees to continue learning and growing.
This approach might be awkward for Boomers and Generation Xers, but identifying what works with the millennial generation will ultimately lead to lower turnover and a more productive workforce.
If you’re a Gen Xer or Baby Boomer, it’s time to understand Generation Y. There are 75 million Generation Y -employees in the workforce. 60 million Baby Boomers are going to exit the work force in the next 3 years and Gen X includes about 40 million. Gen Y is a huge up and coming generation that not only has a loud voice but really sees the world and specifically their work/life differently.
To better understand GEN Y, we need to start at the beginning. From childhood, GEN Y grew up in sports programs where everybody got a trophy and was always successful. The parents of the GEN Y kids always provided them with positive feedback and coaching such as saying “great job!”, “you can be anything you want”….They also grew up with technology at their fingertips, TV, Video Games, IPods, Nintendo, Texting and on and on.
As a result of this type of growing environment, GEN Y appears to be entitled, especially if you are looking at them from the eyes of a GEN Xer, but the benefit of their upbringing makes them very coachable and quick to learn.
In the workplace, GEN Y is constantly looking for feedback and learning. As a manager, if you can provide your GEN Y employees with Leadership Training and Motivating Projects then you will get the most out of this group.
5 Tips to help bridge the management gap for GEN Y:
1) Train Boomers on how to communicate with GEN Y Electronically: Most GEN -Yers respond immediately to text messages whereas Boomer prefers face to face interaction and phone calls.
2) Leadership and mentoring: GEN -Y is hungry for knowledge and are seeking leaders to follow who will give them advice and mentoring on how to improve their skill sets and move forward in their careers.
3) Make the work meaningful, GEN- Y is very passionate about making a difference in the world.
4) Stay current without being phony. Understand the new technologies that GEN- Y uses not only computer technology, but also with what’s going on in your industry. Stay active, and hang out with people as much as you can who are in their 20s and 30s so you as a manager are relevant.
5) Gen Y moves 50% faster on projects then Boomers: The Baby Boomer workforce is perceived as rigid, closed-minded, overbearing whereas GEN Y is perceived as entitled, lazy, self-absorbed however, because GEN-Y is so quick and knows how to find shortcuts they appear to be not working as hard as the boomers, but often they just know how to get to job done faster.
The fundamental difference in these generations is that Gen Y doesn’t see a distinction between work life and personal life. Gen Y sees it as all one big life. They see personal first and work second. As a manager if you can learn to speak their language and start your coaching and conversations from this perspective you will find a much more receptive audience. Finally understand that GEN Y gets bored very quickly, so consider how to make their work and additional projects meaningful, creative and interesting and you will have engaged employees.