The care and feeding of Gen Y employees

admin  January 5, 2012

By Sheldon Gordon, The Globe and Mail

They’re called Generation Y, the millennials, the Net Generation or the Echo Boomers. They’re mostly younger than 30, and the children of baby boomers. And they’re not easy to stimulate and satisfy in the workplace.

Neil Crawford, a human resources consultant with Aon Hewitt, says Gen Y employees have the lowest level of engagement within most organizations. They comprise only five to 20 per cent of workers in a typical organization, so workplace culture is usually more attuned to older employees.

Among other things, millennials become frustrated when technology at the office doesn’t work as efficiently as the computers and smartphones they use as consumers. They also don’t understand why employers treat devices such as laptops, which they consider essential tools, as perks restricted to senior employees.

Gen Ys have a high need for feedback and recognition from their bosses, says Mr. Crawford. “It’s not just about stroking,” he says. “Even if they’re not performing well, they want to hear about it sooner rather than later.”

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