Employers need to encourage and foster a mindset in their youngest employees that is receptive to constructive criticism. Gen Yers need to understand that not all assignments will be high-level and that salary is commensurate with experience. Managers need to understand that this generation wants to, and can, make a difference to keep the country competitive and service driven.
Gen Yers feel entitled to cutting-edge technology. These young workers feel that companies that do not invest in technology “think little of their employees and customers.” Technology helps employees work faster and better. If a company does not have a budget for upgrades, Gen Yers can be asked to experiment with what technology the company does have to try and make the best use of it.
Gen Yers feel entitled to a conflict-free workplace. This is simply unrealistic and managers need to prepare this generation to deal with conflict in a productive and positive way.
This generation feels entitled to daily feedback. While managers do not have the time to provide the same level of feedback as Gen Yers’ “helicopter parents,” all feedback should be built around positive and negative critical incidents, and it should be delivered close to the time of the incident. Feedback should be clear, specific, and concrete, and can be formal or informal, like a pat on the back, or an IM. This regular dose of feedback is good for all generations.
To older generations, the most outrageous demand of Generation Y is a high salary. Employers who undercut the wages of the young workers fuel this mindset. These employees, like all employees, should be paid what they are worth. Pay does not always have to mean cash. Other enticements, such as job flexibility, can sweeten the deal.
Managers should consider what Gen Yers need, rather than what they want.