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9 Common Misconceptions About Gen-Y Employees

9 Common Misconceptions About Gen-Y Employees

Gen-Y employees are entering the workforce at astounding rates. Many of them are looking for a full-time job or simply for the perfect internship opportunity to boost their resume and embark on the journey towards a fulfilling career. However, some employers have found this group difficult to deal with due to generational gaps and miscommunication.

Generation-Y

    No one likes to see the way they are used to dealing with the workplace change so suddenly but as millennials begin to enter part of your workforce, you must realize that if you wish to remain competitive and productive, you must keep an open mind, be willing to make some changes, and clear up these common misconceptions:

    1. They are only interested in making money.

    While it is true Gen-Y employees are coming out of school with $1 trillion in student debt, money is not their highest motivating factor. Millennials have chosen their field of study hoping to gain a career. While money is a good incentive, chances are your Gen-Y employee is hoping to learn and grow from the opportunity you are giving him or her.

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    2. They are difficult to train.

    Many employers make the mistake of thinking Gen-Y employees are inexperienced or need to be walked through step-by-step. They don’t want you to teach them how to do their job step-by-step. Most millennials value the joys of learning from experience. They’d rather have someone they can go to with their questions than a micro-manager holding their hand.

    3. They switch jobs often because they become bored easily.

    Yes, it is true on average Gen-Y employees are switching jobs every two years. However, this isn’t because they are bored or can’t find a place to settle. Keep in mind millennials grew up with tools, such as the internet, and many more opportunities to travel abroad than past generations. Gen-Y have a thirst for life, a need to experience new things and they hope to do so while they are young. (No, it’s just that they want to try more things while they still can)

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      4. They have no respect for leaders in the workplace.

      Gen-Y did not grow up with parents who demanded to be respected. The idea that one should automatically respect superiors is alien to most Gen-Y employees. They don’t want to just mindlessly follow someone because they are told to. Instead, Gen-Y employees want to know they can trust their authority. They want to feel the person they are under is capable, hard working, and deserves his or her position. You can’t demand deeply-rooted respect from a Gen-Y employee; it’s something you must earn.

      5. They will not accept constructive criticism.

      It’s not that millennials can’t take yearly or monthly reviews. Most of them prefer to have praise be given on the spot, or corrections being made on the spot. They cannot fix something they are doing wrong if you do not tell them, and they hope you don’t wait until the year-end review to break the news.

      6. They are self-centered.

      Gen-Y were raised by a set of doting parents and were taught about self-awareness and the joys of being an individual. Yes, they may be looking out for themselves much of the time but who isn’t? Gen-Y employees are simply bolder about it. Many of the possible missteps that can arise are easily solved through ample communication.

      7. They refuse to follow directions.

      You’ve told your Gen-Y employee how to do something and he or she went off and did it their own way AND the wrong way. Your Gen-Y employees are used to having a vast array of options at their fingertips. They’ve been taught there’s an infinite amount of ways to get from point A to point B. While you are not to relinquish all structure and control, some flexibility and compromise is in order. Your Gen-Y employees will be more productive and serve you better if you allow them to put an individual spin on the tasks at hand.

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        8. They want too many commodities in the workplace.

        Gen-Y employees have grown up in an environment that took lessons from the past. Their college education includes lessons on how to work more productively and that doesn’t always translate to working harder. It’s not that they expect you to provide them with a live-in mattress, but rather that they understand the downside of a 9 to 5 day. They know the loss of yield and damage to the environment that comes with commuting, or the loss of productivity that comes from separating employees with dimly-lit cubicles. It is said that by 2025, more than 75% of the workforce will be composed of millennials, this means workplaces will have to evolve into friendlier, greener, and more productive spaces that take into account both the psychological and physical well-being of their human resources.

        9. They cannot be trusted to stay off social media.

        In a survey conducted by Cisco, 56% of millennials said that if a company bans social media, they wouldn’t work there. Increasing productivity by banning small leisurely activities and communication devices immediately lets your workers know you don’t trust them. Compared to past generations, millennials have enjoyed higher levels of freedom in all aspects of life, so banning social media, is the equivalent of prohibiting a telephone call. Being in the work environment comes with surveillance already, and delivering results is as important to millennials as it is to other employees. Make your gen-Y employee feel like he or she cannot be trusted and their productivity will reflect it.

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          As a Millennial leadership speaker, I have found the most common misconceptions of Gen-Y come from the lack of communication in a multi-generational workplace. These hurdles can be overcome by holding multi-generational training with your workforce. Help them communicate with each other using terms that everyone can understand. By learning each others’ perspective, there will be less conflict in the workplace as teams will become stronger through communication.

          What are some problems that you are seeing with Millennials or Gen-Y coming into the workplace?

          Featured photo credit: flickr via flickr.com

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          Joel Goldstein

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          5 Powerful Ideas on How to Be Productive at Work

          5 Powerful Ideas on How to Be Productive at Work

          Not being able to stay productive at work is a problem that everyone runs into at some point; no matter how much you like your job, there are certain factors that prevent you from staying at maximum proficiency throughout the whole day.

          A lack of productive focus at work can lead to extra stress on yourself, missed deadlines, passed opportunities, raise denial, demotion and even termination.

          So, if you are someone who has trouble with your productivity, here are five effective tips on how to be productive at work:

          1. Take breaks

          First and foremost, it’s important for you to take regular breaks. Trying to work throughout the whole day will tire your brain, which will then cause you to doze off and think about something else.

          If you keep working your brain, it will fill up and get jumbled with information—sort of like a computer hard drive. Taking a break would be like resetting your computer so that it can start afresh, or de-fragmenting the data so that all the information is in order.

          This is a great thing because it allows you to solve problems you were unable to solve previously, by seeing it differently; if you are able to organize your thoughts properly, you will be able to take in new information more easily.

          There have even been studies about methods of saving time and staying proficient, and taking breaks is one of the leading factors.

          According to Christine Hohlbaum, the author of The Power of Slow: 101 Ways to Save Time in Our 24/7 World, eating lunch away from your work area every day will greatly increase your productivity. Eating in your work area will give you the illusion that you are working, but whether you like it or not, your brain will begin to wander and think of something else and then you will be working tirelessly with no progress.

          It’s important to take breaks before and during work too: if you come to work in a rush because you woke up late, your mind will not be mentally prepared for the day ahead, and you will spend the first 10 to 15 minutes trying to get organized and composed before you can actually start working.

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          Instead, you should try to wake up 20 minutes earlier than the time it would take you to “just get” to work. Take that time to stare off into space and not worry about anything.

          If you do this, your brain will be empty and ready for all the challenges it has coming for the next few hours.

          If your employer only allows a set amount of breaks during the workday, that doesn’t mean you can’t just get up and walk around for a quick break every now and then.

          Even if it’s only 5 minutes, it will refresh your brain and you will gain renewed energy to do your job.

          Learn more about The Importance of Scheduling Downtime.

          2. Pace yourself and balance your workload

          One problem that most people run into is that they underestimate the amount of work they have to do, and end up doing 50% of the work in the last 20% of the time they have to do it. This is due to an issue of balancing one’s workload.

          When you receive a project, or are doing a job you normally do, take some time to really plan out your work schedule.

          Consider how much time it took you to do this last time; determine how you can break the project into smaller parts and which can only be accomplished on certain days, and whether anything might come up that could interfere with your plan.

          All of these questions are important for starting on a project, and when answered, they will help you stay productive throughout each day.

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          For example, if you needed to design a project to map out the amount of aid offered in various regions after Hurricane Sandy, you can break it up as follows:

          You will need to know what organizations are offering help to begin with, how much aid those organizations gave or plan to give, which regions were hit by Sandy, and which regions suffered the greatest losses.

          You start this project on a Thursday and know you have until Tuesday to gather this information.

          In order to stay productive, you need to plan out your work week—now you know you can find out which organizations are involved in helping the Hurricane Sandy Victims any day since that information is online, but gathering information on the organizations may require you to call them.

          Since phone calls can only be done during week days, you have to plan on gathering all of that information before the weekend comes.

          That is just one example of a situation in which pre-planning your project will help you stay productive; had you researched the affected regions first, you would not have received the info on the organizations until the weekend, and may have missed your chance to call them.

          That, in turn, would have wasted time you could have spent working on this project to finish it.

          Knowing what you need to do, when you can do it, and how long it will take you, is important in balancing your workload and being more productive and efficient.

          3. Put your work first

          This is an issue that usually occurs with young people who are new to the workforce: they’re often tempted with offers to go out at midday, and then come back lost in thought and unfocused on their work-related tasks.

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          While it is important to take breaks, your breaks should consist of you clearing your mind, not loading it up with other less important information—like sports.

          However, that is not the only situation where you need to worry about putting your work first before all else.

          In a work environment, the senior employees will oftentimes push some of their menial tasks onto the newer employees. If you fall into that category, you need to know that their work is not your work, so if you have tasks that need to be done, you need to do it first.

          If you are a new employee, you must learn to say no to other people even when it means you may not be in their good graces anymore. You can help others out once your work is done, but you are paid to do your own work, not anyone else’s.

          4. Don’t open your browser unless you need them

          In this day and age, everyone is constantly monitoring their social network. This is a major pain point for companies, which is why many don’t allow employees to access their social networks on company workstations.

          When you are at work, disconnect the internet from your phone and keep your browsers closed so you’re not tempted to log onto your social media accounts or browse any sites that are not work-related.

          If you keep your browsers closed and phone tucked away, only to be used in an emergency, you will find yourself being a more productive employee right away. 

          5. Try to be happy and optimistic

          If you always have a negative outlook on life, you will be more distracted and less motivated to get work done, so it’s important for you to start your day off right.

          This can be done by having a good breakfast or by taking time in the morning to watch one of your favorite TV shows before work.

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          If you are happy, you will find yourself able to work much more productively as your mind won’t wander into worrying about something else.

          Also, if you stay optimistic and keep telling yourself that you can do whatever you set your mind to, the tasks will seem much less daunting and will go by much more quickly.

          Take a look at more effective ways to stay positive at work:

          15 Ways To Stay Positive At Work

          Happiness and optimism are the keys to being a productive and happy employee.

          All in all, heed the five tips above and you will find yourself being one of the most productive people at your company.

          While you do not need to master them all, each and every one of them will help you become a better and more efficient employee.

          Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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