Yesterday, I began a two-part series. I am sharing 8 ideas for leaders on working with young adults from Generation Y. Yesterday, I relayed the first 4 ideas:
1. Create incentive for them.
2. Micro-manage at first.
3. Let them share ideas.
4. Launch a mutual-mentoring initiative.
Let me share another 4 ideas that I hope will spark some of your own.
5. Communicate the importance of their work. They want to know what they do really matters. Our research shows that Generation Y wants to work at a job that takes the environment seriously, and has adopted some cause in addition to simply attending to the bottom line. In short, young people today want to be part of something that is very important and almost impossible.
6. Tell them the truth. They’ve been lied to by adults who said they can do anything they want to do. You and I know that’s a cliché. We all must align our dreams to our strengths. Too many look like the early performers on American Idol. They are out of their gift area and someone needs to tell them so. Help your young employees discover their weaknesses and strengths, and then play to those strengths.
7. Manage by objective. Be flexible if possible; let them find creative ways to use time and resources. They are less at home being managed by the clock, than by the project. They might do their best work at midnight from home, when they’re off the clock. If possible, try adapting to them, and allow them to achieve when they are peaking each day. Measure results, not just hours.
8. Mentor more than manage. This one is all-important. Learn to be a coach. Launch developmental relationships with them by taking them to coffee and getting acquainted if you can. They love being “in the know” with their leaders, and will follow you loyally if you connect with them. Put on the mentor-hat and watch what it does for their performance.
Here’s to a win/win relationship for them and for you.