While Generation Y is becoming a more and more important cohort on today’s job market, the knowledge about how this promising generation is behaving “in the office” and the differences with other generations is piling up. They are creative, they are a smartphone generation, they see access to social media as a part of their lives, they don’t use e-mail the way a lot of other people use it, they use Facebook as a business card, they are… just slightly different. At FastCompany, Lauren Maillian Bias writes: “Every company wants to tap a new generation of innovative and vibrant talent, but few companies have figured out how to successfully retain the rockstars who can help catapult your company or team to the next level.” Here are Maillian Bias’ 5 tips to retaining star GenY talent (wow, great job):
1. Be transparent
Gen Y values honesty. Tell them clearly what you need them to complete before they can do something interesting or lead a project. They’re motivated by working toward the bigger goal, seeing the opportunity to take a bigger path, and developing the next steps. There’s no motivation for them otherwise. Gen Y values openness in communication and they are resilient.
2. Explain the bigger purpose
Contextualize your organization’s social and environmental values. Gen Y wants (and needs) to change the world’s path towards sustainability and social good.
3. Provide opportunity for professional development
Gen Y employees want to grow onward, and they eventually want to steer the ship. They want to see the next steps, understand the reference points, and talk about how to get there and get it done. They want to master being effective professionals and they enjoy the development process. Arm them with responsibility and watch them thrive under the guise of your “big picture.” It may not be perfect, but they will undoubtedly provide fresh perspective and may even spark a new idea.
h3>4. Understand that Gen Y views career as life
Work-life integration is the new work-life balance. Gen Y is a hyper-communicative, constantly “on” generation that always expects a response and can easily transition from personal to professional at the speed of a tweet. To them, their career is life and life is their career–it’s one and the same, and this can be a great thing for your company.
5. Give them opportunities to shine in the community
Support your employees’ work and relationships with outside organizations that they are passionate about. Appreciate the fact that they want to add value to organizations other than your company, and view it positively. After all, their involvement in outside organizations may even open doors for your company. Allow them to be dynamic individuals–it builds their resume and will make your company more cultured.