There’s no denying it: Generation Y has arrived and is taking the workplace by storm. The question is, how can you manage and engage Gen Y in your company without making them feel ostracized?
The first thing to note is that members of Gen Y are ambitious and want to break the mold. They are confident, connected, and open to change. They want to engage — so it’s up to you, as the manager, to find ways to keep these Millennials in your workforce engaged.
1) Avoid generalization and get to know the new members of your team. Beyond the interview, once you have a millennial on your team, arrange a sit-down with them to really get to know them. Ask them engaging questions on why they chose the education path they did, what they hope to achieve in their career and most importantly, what they hope to gain from their experience at your company. Whether they’re there for a three-month internship or a full-time position, help make their experience worth it.
2) Don’t stifle their creativity. This doesn’t mean let them run amok — but once the requirements are in place for a project, give them opportunity to find creative ways to approach a goal. Encourage them to come to you with ideas for discussion.
3) Set clear goals and boundaries. Gen Y needs structure in the workforce. Help them get acclimated to the corporate culture by setting clear boundaries and letting them know what your expectations are. Set goals for them, along with encouraging them to set personal goals within the company — all while respecting the boundaries in place.
4) Delegate and encourage to self-manage. However, don’t forget to set up weekly or bi-weekly face-to-face meetings to check in. The hustle and bustle of the workday makes it easy for a manager to go weeks at a time without setting up a meeting as long as goals are being met. Avoid this pitfall. You want them to feel responsible and somewhat autonomous without feeling overwhelmed.
5) Set up a mentor program. Milennials want to learn, and what better way for them to learn than from a mentor? Setting up a mentor program, even if it’s a little informal, will help your Gen Y employees continue to learn and grow in a positive direction.
6) Keep in mind that just because they’re younger doesn’t mean their values are all that different. According to a recent study, “Millennials are, in fact, much like their older counterparts.” The study compared a current survey of millennials to past surveys of Baby Boomers and Gen Xers.
How are you engaging Gen Y in your company?