They were born from the early 1980s to the mid-’90s. They’re Gen Y — the new, tech-savvy crop of workers. To make them leaders:
Build. Most Generation Y employees want a sense of belonging. They want jobs that help them make a difference. They also want to bond with their bosses, say Meagan and Larry Johnson, a daughter-father coaching duo and co-authors of “Generations Inc.”
Give Gen Yers all three, and you’re off to a strong start.
Let ’em pole-vault. In addition to making a difference, young people want peaks to climb. Challenging work is key to engagement, especially among Gen Yers.
Deloitte execs Cathleen Benko and Anne Weisberg, authors of “Mass Career Customization,” cite several surveys showing that younger people value interesting work over high compensation.
Open up. Gen Yers want to learn. Offer what the Johnsons call “close coaching” and guidance. Once the young people gain mastery, loosen the leash.
Eye the upshot. When coaching, “explain the end result of the task,” the Johnsons said. “Tell why the project is important for customers, the worker and the organization.”
Pinpoint the resources workers will need and roadblocks they could face while doing the job. Help them devise a plan to master the hurdles, the Johnsons advise.
Be quick. Raised on the Web, Gen Yers are used to instant answers. As workers, they want to know how they’re doing, and often. They want encouragement — and fine-tuning as needed.
Do it correctly. “Feedback comes in two varieties, reinforcing and corrective,” the Johnsons said. Both responses are valuable. “Reinforcing feedback tells the receiver what he’s doing right. Corrective feedback tells the worker what he’s doing wrong, how to correct it and prevent it from recurring.”
Many experts say to mix the two. If you do it too often, the authors say, Gen Yers will see it as a sham. The moment you give positive feedback, they’ll be waiting for the grenade.
The best plan: Offer positive feedback without negatives.
When giving corrective feedback, don’t be a parent or teacher. Treat Gen Yers as equals. In many cases they have technological knowledge you may lack.
Make the relationship interactive. When offering feedback, see what you can learn. This adds value to the relationship and spurs loyalty.
Work the details. When giving positive feedback, spell it out. Saying “you’re doing a great job” is often meaningless.
Skip trivial pursuits. “Reinforcing (minor) actions weakens (your) credibility,” the Johnsons said. “Praise should describe something the recipient values.”
Be wise. When giving corrective feedback, choose a stress-free time for yourself and the worker. Offering criticism during a deadline can be just so much static.
Stress prevents the worker from listening closely and learning. It can also make you less patient.
Choose a private location, avoid finger-pointing, and jointly find solutions. Offer suggestions, and ask the worker how he could self-correct.
Generate unity. If your staff ranges from Gen Y to mature workers, bring everyone into the decision-making process, say Louellen Essex and Mitchell Kusy, authors of “Manager’s Desktop Consultant.” Doing so will empower team members and unite them behind you.
Tuesday, September 07, 2010
Useful Gen Y advice from IBD.
This actually works for almost anyone ... but from the younger Gen X and down, good stuff to ponder. I would especially would like if the "everyone gets a trophy" attitude of the Boomers running the show now would take on board the "Trivial" paragraph.