Daily Thought 2/2/12: Generation Y in the Workforce

Generation Y, the millenials, are the crop of new workers for the world’s economy. I recently read an interesting article that analyzed some trends within GenY. It is important to take note of these as you either are a GenY’er like me, or you probably have to work with/lead people in this generation.

While the article breaks down a study that has some flaws (no comparative analysis), it does raise several intriguing points about Generation Y and their preferences as employees:

  • Millenials avoid working for large Fortune 500 companies for a variety of reasons, chiefly among them lack of flexibility and personal touch.
  • GenY prefers to work in small organizations, especially start-ups, because they provide the opportunity to make an impact as an individual
  • GenY workers are extremely focused on themselves in terms of achievements, career goals, and even entrepreneurial endeavors

“The report urges employers of all sizes to encourage Gen-Y’s entrepreneurial attitude.

What does that mean? I’ve worked with young employees for years and I’ve come to my own conclusions. This generation craves freedom and independence, kind of like teenagers preparing to leave the nest. But they also want your feedback and guidance.

The solution is to let them be “intrapreneurs” within your company. Put them in charge of their time by offering flextime and remote work schedules. Give them a challenge and let them figure out how to handle it. Then, give them both positive and negative feedback on how they did.”

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