As I do frequently, I recently spoke at a meeting of top execs who are looking to create thriving companies. Once again, (really?) the topic of managing young people today, AKA Millennials, came up, as it’s done for at least a dozen years. I’m still hearing some of the same things now that I heard back when the “Gen Y’rs” entered the scene. Let’s just say many of those things could be categorized as on the negative side.
Well, we’re just about to welcome Gen Z’s into the workplace so I thought I’d write a short list of the things I’ve observed from interacting with these bright young people in a variety of different workplaces.
Young people today..
…Don’t want to managed, they want to be engaged and challenged.
…Value their time with family and friends and they want to have some control over their work and schedule so they can spend time with them.
…Are bright, curious, and talented. They work best when expectations are clear and they get feedback and direction.
…Want to know the ‘big picture’ and the part they play in making it happen. Yes, for them it’s about the WHY.
…Blossom when they get to play to their strengths and feel supported
…Like to make a contribution, which is different than having a goal
…Like understanding more about themselves and how they can grow
…Need appreciation, acknowledgement, and recognition regularly
…Want work to be enjoyable and even fun
… Are the future!
Human beings tend to move in the direction of what they talk about. So, leader, let’s stop talking about “what’s wrong” with “these kids today” and start talking about what’s right.
If you’re on my list I know you care about creating great customer experiences and nourishing the kind of culture that promotes them. I encourage you to make your own “What’s right” list.
Take a deep breath and jot down what your positive observations have been as Gen Y’rs take a step up and Gen Z’rs become the newest members of the workplace.
Have a grateful week,