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Bringing Out the Best in Generation Y

Bringing Out the Best in Generation Y

They’re your high-maintenance, entitled, technologically sophisticated and fickle new talent pool. Generation Y, aka the Millennials, is also potentially the most high-performing generation in decades. Here’s the low-down on what makes them tick and how to work most effectively with them

There's been a lot of talk recently about Generation Y. Its members, born between 1982 and 2005, are known for their sense of entitlement, outspokenness, inability to take criticism, and technological sophistication. Fortune deemed Generation Y in its 28 May, 2007, issue the most high-maintenance, yet potentially most high-performing generation in history because its members are entering the workplace with more information, greater technological skill and higher expectations of themselves and others than prior generations. In addition, Time described members of Generation Y in its 16 July, 2007, issue as wanting the kind of life balance where every minute has meaning. They don't want to be slaves to their jobs the way their Baby Boomer parents are.

Managers must explain to their Generation Y employees the big-picture purpose of the organization and how their role serves that purpose

Like it or not, Generation Y is your fickle new talent pool. To attract the workers from this generation that your organization needs, you need to understand what makes them tick and how to work with its members to bring out their high potential. They may require a lot of management, but they're worth the effort. Statistically, Millennials are the most pluralistic, integrated, high-tech generation in history - traits that make them ideally suited to our increasingly demanding, diverse and dispersed global workplace. They are well positioned to address the global issues of our time, inclined as they are to seeing the world as a vast resource of connection, knowledge and community. In addition, these kids are smart and driven to make a difference. They demand fast-track career positioning, greater work/life balance, positive feedback, training and cutting-edge technology. By challenging workforce conventions, Generation Y offers us a long-overdue reality check on the shortcomings and hypocrisies of the workplace that may ultimately change it for the better.

Let's delve beyond the stereotypes and get to know this generation and how older generations can work most effectively with them and restructure their workplace policies to bring out Generation Y's best.

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