The workforce today is probably the most diverse it has ever been. Three different generations currently make up the bulk of these numbers with a shift in generation happening everyday. The workforce today is made up of Baby Boomers, Generation X and the new Generation Y. Each brings different talents and contributions to the companies they currently work for. However, the Baby Boomer generation is steadily loosing ground due to many of them retiring each year. Most Baby Boomers make up a lot of the senior management positions and is stereotyped as being very focused on their work and self-reliant. Generation X is the generation after the Baby Boomers and typically make up some of the senior management roles with many entering mid career roles and senior level supervisory roles in companies. They are described as being embracing diversity and appreciating entrepreneurship. Finally Generation Y. Gen Y is just beginning to enter the work force with many of them starting their careers and some still finishing their education. Generation Y is described as being optimistic and goal oriented while enjoying collaboration and excited about new technologies. Each generation has or is making its mark on the workforce, but with the coming exodus of Baby Boomers being out of the workforce within the next 10 years companies need to prepare for the generation that will make up their future workforce. But there are somethings you should know about this next generation of young adults you should know about when you hire them.
- Very Tech Savvy
This new generation is armed with laptops, smart phones and many other gadgets which allows them to be connected with their peers 24/7. This is a generation that grew up on the internet and video games and experienced the a huge technological revolution at an early age. Many Gen Y’ers have an above average technological literacy and are almost always on top of the latest social media applications. This has allowed them to not only stay connected with their peers at all times but also let them organize and attend community events they might not have been able to a decade ago. Employers should take advantage of this knowledge and use technology to engage millennials and allow their insights to benefit their company.
- Highly Ambitious
Gen Y has been described as being very ambitious when it comes to their life goals. Several studies have shown that millennials value wealth (75%) more than previous generations (45%) have. This means that they have high expectations of themselves and high goals in life that they want to pursue. These goals have made them willing to take more risk than previous generations, with many of them pursuing their own business or product in order to meet those goals and maintain their independence. This sort of ambition comes from their own motivations, but when they are at a company or business that they believe in their motivations can transfer over to that. Millennials might be described as the most entitled generation to date, and while that might be true, they can also be the hardest working employees you ever have.
- Working Together
This generation has shown that it isn’t out for itself. It wants to make their companies and communities better by coming together and accomplishing goals they can’t do alone. Gen Y is the first generation to place an emphasis on teamwork and collaboration in the workplace. Millennials believe in the notion that a team is more capable than the individual and that has been a value instilled on them since children. This is a great thing for employers because if they can capitalize on this value they can create supportive teams that work well to facilitate big projects with a lot of bodies. With the work place becoming more saturated with Millennials as the years go on we could see new technology and products evolve because this value of teamwork helped support it.
- A little Impatient
Generation Y has the stigma of being impatient, immature and entitled. So how can employers work with these traits instead of dismissing them completely? Well being impatient means that they want to be kept busy, but not with busy work. Keep your young employees engaged and working on task that can best put their problem solving skills to use and let them find their way. This is a generation that wants to be taken seriously like the generations before them and the best way to do that is to keep them engaged with their work to prove their worth. Like anyone else Millennials want their hard work to be recognized and not written off. A kind word here and a little patience from employers can go a long way and make this generation be your best workers because once they know their employer has their backs and their interest in mind then they are more likely to want the business succeed and grow.
These little tips should help familiarize yourself with this new generation of workers and how best to handle them when they make up the bulk of your company. Every individual is different but its easy to right off an entire group of people based on one person or experience. Remember that these kids are going to be here for awhile and the best thing both parties can do is manage expectations and work together to succeed.