Gen Y in your workplace

There is a great guest post over on Chris Brogan’s blog by Teresa Wu in regards to Gen Y workers.  Some key points:

  • We crave personal development
  • We pursue unconventional path
  • We value company culture
  • We’re not afraid to ask
  • We embrace transparency
  • We just want to do what we love

It’s interesting to look at this from a Gen X point of view (that’s me)…or from anybody who works.  Let me add comments to a couple of the points:

We Crave Personal Development

It’s odd but many enterprise workers view personal development as something that needs to be done for your year end review.  Although we always need “worker bees”, the ‘craving’ part is missing.  But maybe to get the craving, you need the passion?

We value Company Culture

Company culture for a lot of organizations is something that is driven from the very top down.  Most people accept this…and don’t try to change it.  It seems the Gen Y’s are not afraid to change it…but the change is for productivity.   And if this cannot happen, then they take their talents elesewhere.  Beats working in a job that has lost it’s fun (or killed your spirit).

We’re not afraid to ask

If you don’t ask, they won’t know what you want.  Interesting how this can alleviate company ‘negative’ culture by getting the questions answered before they take a life of their own.

So, although this is what Gen Y want in the workplace, it would be wise for the “older” generations to leverage some of their wants for their own benefit.


One Response to Gen Y in your workplace

  1. You did an excellent job explaining the generation Yers ~ every thing you said makes perfect sense!

    Here’s my question to you – how are the wants/needs of each generation the same? As a generation Yer myself, and an expert in generational differences, I’ve always found the best way to create a bridge between people of different generations is to acknowledge the differences and focus on the common ground.

    When people understand each other – why they do and say the things they do – they are far more tolerant and willingness to keep their focus on what’s truly important – the organizations mission/vision and the individuals mission/vision. Any conversation that’s different then the common ground is truly a waste of time and energy on both sides. Fortunately, there is not “right” way of doing things – there is simply many different ways.

    Based on my experience both young and seasoned professionals really want the same things – they simply say it differently. And, yes, some seasoned professionals believe there is a “right” and “wrong” way to do things. So do young professionals.

    I believe the balance is in opening ourselves up (regardless of generations) to learning about and helping others. While there might seem like a “better” way, sometimes there’s even greater value in asking more questions to learn why things are done in certain ways.

    Creating change and building a great reputation takes time, patience, focus and dedication.

    I’m of the opinion that all generations really want the following…

    Personal development
    Pursue unconventional path
    Value company culture
    We’re not afraid to ask
    Embrace transparency
    Just want to do what we love

    Building a bridge between generations is really about creating understanding and a common vision. How are we doing that?

    Rock on!


    Misti Burmeister
    Author of “From Boomers To Bloggers: Success Strategies Across Generations”

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