Tag: Generation Me
Much has been written about the newest generation to hit the workplace. Of course, generalizations and a one-size-fits-all mentality have their limitations. Given the reality of the nature and nurturing of this generation, employers may wish to consider the following:
- Get very clear about what “privacy” and discretion means. Don’t assume they will think about it the same way you do. Up to the point they came to work for you, they’ve always been “on” from a technology standpoint. Text messaging in class, laying out their personal lives on MySpace, and so on. If you intend for them to keep something private or secret, make sure they agree to do so in a contractual document. For example, HR That Works users should consider having employees sign the Email/Internet Policy and review the Cell Phone Agreement.
- Half of this generation grew up with over-supervision (having their lives totally scheduled) while others were raised by one or two parents who had to work full time. Either way, they are going to expect or need supervision. They may not be as independent or responsible as you’d like. Being very clear with job descriptions and career paths is a must if you want them to perform.
- Much of this generation expects to get rich tomorrow. They have very little patience and have been told they can have something because they want it bad enough. It is important for leaders and managers to identify both short-term and long-term goals. Let them know that there will be no instant gratification and that they can expect to pay their dues. At the same time, let them know that if they do what they agree to do, you will live up to your promises as well and their future is bright.
- Many a Generation Me employee has grown up with parents who are over-worked and stressed out. It’s no club they want to be a member of. Unlike during the dot-com boom years, with its promise of instant gratification, Generation Me employees are not going to see an instant quid pro quo in working the extra hours. Whether they are right or wrong in their perception of a balanced life-style, employers are going to have to come to grips with this reality.
- Lastly, we have to be aware of their communication abilities. Many can’t write a decent business letter. They also have difficulty communicating in more than three sentences at a time. Employers may be wise to have them attend training sessions that improve communication skills.
Generation Me employees are arguably smarter, and more talented than any entry-level workforce in history. As we all know, someone’s emotional intelligence has as much to do with their IQ when it comes to business success. In the end, the greatest challenge for managing these employees won’t be in terms of high-tech, but rather in terms of high-touch.