3 Strategies to Motivate Gen Y in the Workplace by Dr. Karyn Gordon

(1) Communicate Respectfully
Respect is a massive word (and it's abstract) so let me break it down further. There are 100's of ways to show respect to this generation but here are a few:

• Give feedback regularly (they're used to receiving constant feedback and feedback helps them feel engaged)

• Get to the point. Don't talk in circles or beat around the bush. Lengthy performance reviews will not engage this generation. They want feedback short, specific and frequent

• Be specific (don't just say 'good job', state the 'why')

• Talk fast. They get frustrated when people talk slow or beat around the bush.

• Make communication 2-way. Instead of just telling them what they aredoing well and what needs work, ask them to share this with you as well. 2 way communication immediately engages them

• Praise publically and privately (one president I worked with that was highly valued by his Gen Y employees would send out a weekly email to his company praising publically what different employees were doing)

• Use technology (they love it) and it's a mode of communication they are used to (for the record, I encourage the younger generations to use more face-to-face communication to engage with older generations)

(2) Challenge
Anyone who says this generation is lazy I find doesn't truly understand them. They are very ambitious. As I often say in my keynotes, if you have a Gen Y teen, - they are ambitious, but their timelines may be unrealistic. They want your home, cottage, 2 cars, bank account and job, but they want it all by next Friday! The key to engaging their ambition is that they need a challenging environment. If they get bored – they check out. Tips to help with this:

• Ask them if they are challenged (if they are bored – ask them what they'd like to be doing. Try to accommodate their needs and if you can't, explain why not. At least addressing this with them will help them feel valued).

• Get to know their goals / desires and try to partner with them

• Provide training (they love to learn)

• Provide mentoring (this is one of the best ways to tackle the generational gap)

(3)Cultivate Culture
Every country has a culture. Every home has a culture and definitely every company has a culture. The question is – what is your culture? What's the look, feel and "vibe" of your environment. What do your Gen Y employees say when they are at a party on Friday night? Are they talking about their amazing boss who cares for them or complaining about their boss who is overly critical and unavailable. That's culture! Research consistently tells us that when people feel respected (which is part of culture) this increases their performance, loyalty and retention at a company. Here are a few tips to cultivate a great culture:

• Provide challenging and fast-paced work

• Have the most up to date technology

• Encourage the "why" attitude. Instead of viewing this as disrespectful, see it as their way to better understand and digest information

• Laugh and have some fun. Laughing is one of the best (and most fun) ways to create team bonding

• Care for your employees and get to know them. What are their goals? When are their birthdays? Celebrate with them. Gen Y's want their work to be a type of a family

• Ask them to describe your culture. Ask them what you are doing well but also what changes they would like to see.

The great part about all 3 tips is that they are great managerial principles for all generations, not just Gen Y! So be sure to apply them to all your employees!

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Posted: 2016-11-06 8:26:00 PM
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