Generation Y (Born 1981-2000), is called the Echo generation, a name they acquired because they closely echo their Boomer parents’ attributes and characteristics. The Echo Generation is the result of parents who felt guilty about how they raised their Xer children and were devoted to this generation and its needs, in a real way becoming soccer moms, little-league dads and making sure that their Echo Gen kids enjoyed life. This time around the Boomer parents went all out with swimming lessons, dancing lessons, camp and any other form of activity that would make the Generation Y children happy. As a result, these children led a structured and sheltered life, having great relationships with their parents whom they believe to be cool and more like friends.
This global generation rose out of their diverse activities and exposure to many different kinds of people at an early age, much of it through technology. They can’t comprehend the fact that their parents grew up without the Internet.
Generation Y is worldly and very accepting of differences in people seeing them as an opportunity to learn new things and make new friends. They are the most diverse generation ever born, judging people for who they are rather than their ethnic origins, race, religion or sexual orientation.
Having grown up during a time with a booming economy, doting parents and unprecedented technological advancements, the Y generation tends to exhibit the following characteristics:
- Inspired and confident
- Pampered and nurtured
- Tech savvy – even more so than the X generation
- Honor and admire their parents
- Resist traditional categorization by race, religion or sexual orientation
- View things non-traditionally
- Multi-taskers and easily bored
Management typically finds this generation baffling. Compared to the X generation that required very little motivation, were self-starters and didn’t need micro-managing, the Y generation needs structure and clear direction with oversight. As more of this generation enters the workforce, companies might consider new ways to recruit, hire and retain these employees. Orientation programs must transition from lecture to interactive if companies are to keep the Gen Yers’ interest and have any hope that they retain the information necessary to deliver on the organization’s goals. On-the-job training must be specific, detailed and structured, with check-in and follow-up phases built into the training.
Creating an environment that will retain Y-generation employees and ensure that they are motivated to be productive will need leaders to:
- Explain the “why”
- Involve them and ask their opinion
- Treat them and others with respect
- Make time for orienting them
- Provide supervision and structure
- Use a team concept
- Offer more and quality training
- Offer mentoring
- Recognize and reward
Generation Yers have not yet moved into the workforce management ranks as the youngest are in middle school, and the oldest have only recently graduated from college. So while it is not yet known what type of mangers this generation will prove to be, some indications are that they will be more like their Boomer parents, exhibiting a consensual, people-focused style of management.
This year (2015), the “Millennial” Y-Generation (75.3 million) is projected to surpass the outsized Baby Boom generation (74.9 million) as the nation’s largest living generation, according to the population projections released by the U.S. Census Bureau, so let’s prepare to help this generation increase professional presence and overall personal effectiveness!
Leaders with the most impact are those who can build and successfully manage great teams. Every day, we help our clients and colleagues achieve their highest levels of professional presence and personal effectiveness. That includes everyone on the ladder, from company presidents to project managers, to staff members. Contact us at 800-282-3374 to find out how we can help you impact your own productivity and the productivity of your entire organization.
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