Leading Generation Y People

If you lead people, you’ll no doubt know the challenges of finding, developing, managing and retaining good people.

This has all become more demanding in the 21st century as a) expectations from employees is a lot higher and b) they will move more quickly if their expectations are not met.

Therefore it’s critical for you (if you lead people) to have a strategy that will recruit and grow “Generation Y” people (born circa 1979-2000), otherwise known as Millennials.

Thoughts on Generation Y

I saw an interview with Simon Sinek recently (author of Start With The Why) and he described “millennials” as being more demanding, self-interested and entitled.

My view is that the power balance has shifted and employees now have a greater individual strength to talk about what’s important to them.

This change has come about due to factors such as increasing educational qualifications, technology and the empowerment and connection that brings.

Employee Expectations

Employees now place greater demands on their leaders. They want to work for organisations that have a purpose and are not just about the financial balance sheet. They want to make an impact, individually and collectively. They want to see a path for growth and they want a lot more perks than ever before! They want to be rewarded based on performance and not length of service.

Generation Y people expect more of their leaders and have a clearer idea of how they want to be led.

They also see themselves as potential leaders of their own business, so leaders need to focus on empowering Intrapreneurs otherwise they may well become Entrepreneurs and leave!

Generation Y employees also want more open cultures, variety in their roles and new learning experiences.

The Implications For Leaders

Firstly, I think it makes sense to realise that we are no longer employing people that will be with us for 25 years. There was the recent example of a woman who told Google, at the point they employed her, that she would leave within 2 years to set up her own business. But they still took her on, as they thought she could have a positive impact during that time and would be a good relationship for the future.

As leaders, we need to invest more time in defining our culture and what we stand for – purpose, vision, values and behaviours.

Most importantly we need to engage people with the co-creation of the culture and the strategy for the organisation. Individuals also need to understand how their role relates to this.

We need to ensure we focus on personal growth plans for all employees and reward people based on performance. Another key finding has been that the more personal the recognition, the better too. This means less bonuses and more personal rewards.

We need to be more open and share information to build trust. We need to continually allow Generation Y and all employees to have a voice and influence change.

Managing The Downsides

With the changes in Generation Y people, there are also downsides.

The rise in social media and mobile devices. This needs some sensible controls to be agreed, including banning their use at important meetings.

We need to encourage them to interact more face to face and create ways for this to happen.

They also need quiet time away from all the noise of social media and technology, because it is when we are most quiet that we are most creative.

Managing people of any age needs a clear strategy and proactivity, but this is especially the case for Generation Y.

If you need help and support building high performance teams and cultures, feel free to call me on 07912 143040 or email at tony@theleadershiptrainingworkshop.com and we can discuss how I can help you.