Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Do you stereotype the younger generation?

Here are highlights from an thought-provoking article about working with the younger generation of employees. This article gives great tips that can change your perspectives about myths that many employers have developed toward young workers. Much of this article can also be applied to educators working with students in a school setting:

Management Craft: Retaining Youth

Retaining Youth: You’ve hired them. Now how can you keep them around?

By Cam Marston

Things aren’t always what they seem. If I could give you one bit of advice on dealing with the latest generation of employees to come under your management, it would be to remember those words…things aren’t always what they seem.

If you are like most business leaders, you’ve no doubt noticed a trend in the way employees behave in recent years. Most likely you consider it a negative trend – too much entitlement, not enough loyalty, no work ethic, only interested in themselves, and on and on. But I challenge you to consider that perhaps these are not negative trends, just different ones. Things aren’t always what they seem.

Myth: Younger generations have no work ethic.

Myth: They don’t want to put in the hours to get ahead.
Myth: They have no respect for authority.
Myth: They don’t want to grow up.
Not all change is bad.

As we’ve discussed, the myths surrounding today’s young employees are not always what they seem. Attitudes toward work, life, loyalty and respect have all changed, but each is still considered valuable. In fact, some of the demands made by today’s youth are creating positive benefits for employees in every generation. Flexibilty and respect for the individual, as well as the organization, are good for everyone. Loyalty from younger employees, once earned, is long-lasting. The adjustments you make to accommodate the changing attitudes of today’s youth will be returned to you tenfold with decreased turnover, improved morale, and measurable business results.

And when the frustration mounts, just remember things aren’t always what they seem. Open your mind to the possibility that there is a benign, generational reason for the disconnect between what you want and what your employees are providing, and you may just find room to create a shared vision of success.

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1 comment:

bkonvalin said...

The business world isn't the only area that still sterotypes youth. We as educators are just as guilty.
Perhaps we need to stop wishing for the good old days and see things in a little different light. This post is a good start!