Daily Dose of iQ: 4 Ways to Better Manage Gen Y Employees

Mar 14, 2012 — Allan Pulga

Wireless retailers are no strangers to the Gen Y demographic, the latter are among the most active mobile device users and also make up the majority of said retailers' in-store workforce.

We've previously blogged about selling to young people and at last year's Wireless Summit, Kurt Reinhart spoke about "Recruiting and Retaining Gen Y."

On March 12, Dan Schawbel published an article on OpenForum.com entitled 4 Ways to Better Manage Gen-Y.

"According to Business and Professional Women’s Foundation, Gen-Y will make up approximately 75% of the global workforce by 2025!" Schawbel writes.

"So there is incentive to better understand and prepare young professionals for the next steps in their career (As well as incentive to maximize their productivity in the workplace today!)."

Below are his 4 suggestions for better managing your Gen Y Employees:

  1. Make them feel like they have an impact on your business. Or as Kurt Reinhart put it: Give a sense of personal accomplishments. "They want to feel they're making a difference," he said, during his Summit session. "More than their predecessors, they want to know they're doing a good job. Their parents encouraged them constantly."
  2. Build loyalty in smaller doses. "Many companies have unrealistic expectations about corporate loyalty, where the employee is expected to associate with the brand name first and their co-workers second," Schawbel writes. "Gen-Y employees are far more loyal to their immediate co-workers and superiors than to the brand they serve. As a manager even of a small group, create a culture of teamwork, recognition and growth, and you will find your employees far more satisfied, and much less likely to jump ship."
  3. Set a clear success path for employees to grow within the company. "This one goes hand in hand with building loyalty," Schawbel adds. "Gen-Y employees do not feel loyal to corporations, because they don’t believe that corporations are loyal to them. They came of age during one of the worst economic time periods in our nation’s history, and they have seen their parents and other adult role models let go from companies that they had been ‘loyal’ to for a number of years. In their minds, that loyalty isn’t reciprocated, and their experience in a down economy has taught them to look out for themselves." Schawbel suggests creating milestones and metrics that help them move up the ladder and not feel they have to leave in order to advance their careers.
  4. Embrace their way of doing things. Gen Y's aversion to a regular 9 to 5 schedule actually works in wireless retailers' favor. "They are ready and willing to work nights and weekends to get their work done," Shawbel writs. "They may be connected to the Internet and social media almost too much, which may lead to distraction at the work place, but it also has given them an unmatched network of information, and they are able to conduct research at light speed when compared to prior generations."

Topics: Retail Operations, Mobile Industry, Business Intelligence

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