There’s something you should know about these young employees who are just now gracing your workplace. In many ways, the newest hires are not like Generation X or the Baby Boomers before them. They are Generation iY, who grew up in the “I” world, online. Their world has produced a set of expectations that leaders should recognize. Below is a summary of what they expect on the job.
1. Contribute from day one.
Although they have not paid their dues, they really want to contribute and feel like they matter from the first day on the job. They don’t like the phrase “pay your dues.” They haven’t had to wait for long to play important roles on their team or their family as kids.
2. Be important and do important work.
Somehow, trust them with tasks and communicate they are doing strategic work that helps you, the organization and the community. They want to feel like what they do is key to the future. Like anyone, they want to know that what they do plays an important role in the grand scheme of things.
3. Receive feedback immediately.
Think for a moment about how quickly a video game provides feedback to a player. This is what they are used to. No doubt, you can’t always furnish this feedback quickly, but just recognize they love it when an authority figure responds to their effort.
4. Have access to information.
Once again, they have rarely been deprived of information. In fact, due to the availability of content on websites, they often know too much too soon. On the job, however, they will feel awkward when they are knowingly kept out of the loop of information. Communicate and keep them “up” on news.
5. Have exposure to senior leadership.
These kids have been able to email the president of the United States since they were five-years-old. They have a hard time understanding the red tape and beauracracy, and the secrets so many organizations must embrace to operate. Even if it’s once a week, stop by and connect with them.
6. Experience meaningful relationships.
These young employees enjoy no separation between fun and work; between friendships and colleagues. Somehow, create communities or teams on the job where they can interact with others, and relate to them personally as well as professionally.
7. Learn from others.
These kid’s lives have been programmed from birth. They expect both entertaining and educational environments to happen to them. Somehow, establish mutual mentoring initiatives that connect them with senior (or experienced) leaders who can both share with them and learn from them.
8. See opportunities and a path to reach them.
They want to move forward and make progress. They’re used to it. “Change” is their middle name. Even if you are a small organization or business, communicate the path and steps they can take to grow and earn more money if they will pay the price.
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