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Is Your Organization “With It”?

Your company is bent on developing its next generation of leaders.  You want to select the best and the brightest young grads.  But are you ready for the expectations that these best and brightest walk in the door with.  This new generation of graduates (or Generation Y) are used to operating from a very different playbook. What do I mean by that?

  1. All ideas are heard. Gen Y are used to putting out an idea out on the web and getting quick feedback on it, both good and bad. But most organizations follow a formal process to submit ideas or have a lot of “yes butting…” which will frustrate this instant generation.  Recommendation: Grad onboarding should include an in-depth understanding of both formal and informal cultural norms so that Gen Y can more easily navigate and be successful.
  2. Contribution counts more than credentials. Gen Y are used to choosing what they are going to participate in based on their interests and perceived strengths.  However in most organizations people’s title and credentials (and the managers perception of an employee’s capabilities) will determine the tasks they get to be part of. Recommendation: Keep grads engaged by flexing their role and leaving space for volunteering and cross-functional projects.
  3. Power comes from sharing not hoarding. Most Gen Y believe  in the benefits of open and transparent information sharing. However in most organizations (build around hierarchy and job boxes), people are incented to hoard rather than share information.  Recommendation: Always give the context and “why” of new work and projects.  Share as much as you possibly can and get the grads fresh perspective on organizational issues.  Their unique perspectives may help break old thinking.

If organizations want to retain a new generation of workers, they need to re-think their work practices and create more engaging ways to motivate people.

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