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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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          Published on September 18, 2018

          17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

          17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

          Have there been instances when you noted a drop in your team’s productivity or observed a behavioral change in someone who used to be an excellent performer?

          Before you blame the team for not being motivated enough or worse still, choose to ignore these warning signs, look inwards and ask yourself if YOU are doing enough to keep your team motivated in the first place.

          Motivating employees is extremely crucial. As the leader of the pack, it is your responsibility to ensure each and every member of your team feels valued, driven and motivated.

          After all, you cannot expect a bunch of disengaged and demotivated people to deliver results and grow your business, can you?

          Here are 17 surefire tactics for motivating your employees and building a productive team:

          1. Show your appreciation

          In the whole race to achieve external business goals, leaders often forget to value their most important assets — their employees.

          The least you can do to boost performance and morale is to appreciate your employees, recognize their efforts and give them credit when it is due.

          Whether it’s sending a personalized note, recognizing achievements publicly during team huddles or even rewarding top performers at the end of every month, you will be surprised to see how these small acts of appreciation can go a long way.

          2. Communicate effectively

          Effective communication can do wonders in motivating employees. Who is a strong communicator? Someone who knows what they are talking about and are able to convey their message accurately.

          Communication is a lot more than just language and talking. Factors such as eye contact, active listening, hand gestures and postures also say a lot about a person’s communication skills.

          3. Be open to dialogue

          Gone are the days when leading through fear and putting on the tough, distant leader act would work.

          New age leadership is all about instilling trust by being accessible and encouraging discussions. Your team needs to feel comfortable speaking to you and you need to set the tone for such a camaraderie.

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          In spite of having a busy schedule, you can still show you care through simple, effective acts.

          For instance, having an open door policy, showing genuine interest while interacting with your employees or even greeting your team members helps breaking barriers and projects you as an accessible leader.

          4. Provide constructive criticism

          Giving negative feedback is always tricky — you don’t want to hurt feelings nor do you want the feedback to be taken lightly.

          So, what do you do? The idea is to offer criticism such that it inspires change and delivers results.

          Firstly, take criticism behind closed doors because nothing breaks self esteem the way calling out employees in public does.

          Have a one-on-one discussion with the concerned person and make your feedback very specific. Be clear about your expectations and offer guidance on how they can improve.

          Most importantly, give them the chance to explain their side of the story too instead of jumping to conclusions.

          5. Conduct one-on-ones

          Yes, you conduct weekly meetings with the team but how well do you know them on a personal level?

          While you may think this isn’t an important practice to follow, it is one of the best ways to engage with your employees and identify what drives them.

          Conduct a one-one-one session every month and use it to understand how your employees are doing and if they are facing any roadblocks.

          More than reviewing performances, consider this as a relationship building tool to ensure you are aligned with your team and are working towards a shared, common goal.

          6. Build training programs

          In this ever-changing business landscape, it is important to ensure your employees are updated with the latest, relevant skills that can help boost productivity and performance.

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          From imparting technical and soft skills to offering mentoring programs – investing in training and development significantly helps in motivating employees and keeps the learning going.

          While conducting training programs, remember to keep them engaging and interactive. They need to ultimately drive value and reinforce learnings.

          7. Offer growth opportunities

          Every employee envisions a different career path for themselves and demotivation strikes the day they feel they have reached stagnation. As a leader, you need to first be aligned with their goals and offer ample growth opportunities that constantly keeps them engaged and motivated.

          Growth opportunities go beyond just financial growth. While money is a huge driving factor, what makes most people tick is making progress in the company and going up the career ladder.

          Being faced with new challenges and responsibilities lets them push the envelope and broaden their knowledge and skills.

          8. Reward them

          Go beyond verbal recognition and reward employees for their notable work. You can start an incentive program and reward top performers. This ensures increased productivity and brings out the best in them.

          If you don’t have enough budgets for that, you can also reward top performers with movie tickets, a paid vacation or something as simple as giving them the option to work from home.

          Rewarding employees promotes healthy competition and motivates them while meeting business goals.

          9. Encourage team outings

          Employee motivation also stems from how connected the team is. Invest time in team building because a team that works collaboratively is likely to deliver better results.

          From bowling nights to hosting team dinners – team outings are a great way to get to know each other and bond. Assign someone from your team to be in charge of organizing these monthly outings and make sure you join them too!

          10. Involve them

          Involve your employees in decision making because when they are involved, they feel more valued and part of a larger cause.

          Seek your team’s opinion and encourage healthy debates within the team. This boosts employee morale and challenges them to work harder as they know they are in a position to make an impact and will be taken seriously.

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          11. Set meaningful goals

          In the beginning of the financial year, make sure you sit down with each employee to set meaningful and realistic goals. The goal-setting conversation is an extremely crucial one and needs to be a two-way street.

          Whether your employee feels burdened or doesn’t feel inspired enough by the assigned goals – this is the time to come to a consensus and assign goals derived from business objectives that foster individual development while keeping in mind their strengths and weaknesses.

          12. Empower them

          You cannot expect employees to be motivated for long if you micro manage the team and do all the talking.

          Trust your employees and empower them to take decisions. Mistakes will happen but that is the only way they will learn.

          Be open to discussions, delegate effectively, set your expectations and give your team the freedom to do it their way.

          13. Deal with conflict

          A conducive work environment is one wherein there is open communication and trust, but every once in a while, you do encounter people in the team who indulge in office politics and spread negativity.

          How much ever fulfilled an employee feels with their work, gossiping co-workers are bound to ruin it for them. Workplace gossip if not tackled hampers productivity and soils working relations.

          As a responsible leader, you need to maintain a conducive work environment and act as a mediator in such cases. Don’t be the leader who is locked up in his/her cabin and is unaware of what is brewing within the team.

          14. Implement a flexible work culture

          Flexible work cultures are a growing trend and are here to stay.

          Whether it is offering flexible working hours or allowing employees to work from home once in a month – a flexible work culture promotes work-life balance and aids in employee satisfaction.

          It shows that the management is sensitive to employees’ schedules and is thereby highly appreciated.

          15. Host engaging activities

          All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy and we cannot agree more! So, why not devote one day of the week to employee engagement activities?

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          From hosting baking competitions to introducing wellness programs in the office – let your team have some fun beyond work. This keeps the environment engaging, light-hearted and interesting, giving them all the more reason to look forward to coming to work.

          16. Maintain a positive work space

          Your employees spend more than half their day at work and in order to keep them energized and motivated, it is important to maintain a positive and inspiring work space.

          Have a recreation center where employees can unwind after a hard day’s work, offer free snacks and beverages and invest in an open office design that promotes socializing and conversations.

          These are simple yet effective ways to create a space your employees will love coming to.

          17. Avoid discrimination

          Any kind of discrimination, be it due to age, gender, religion or race hugely impacts employee motivation and performance.

          In order to avoid such cases, you must lay down rules against discrimination and take strict action against accused employees. Lead by example and make sure no one in the team is a victim of bias and discrimination.

          The bottom line

          Don’t underestimate the power of motivating employees. Understand that the more engaged and motivated they are, the better their performance will be.

          It is also a good idea to send out a survey and get feedback from your employees on the company culture, work environment and their motivation levels.

          This will help you be more aligned with their expectations and further improve your efforts in building a stronger, engaged team.

          Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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