Keeping your young employees happy

When was the last time you consulted with the youngest members of your business? Are you in touch with their experiences, their expectations, and their ideas about workplace technology, organisation and communication? Generation Y are those born between 1980 and 1994 and are described as erratic, self-focused and transient. Impatient, demanding and difficult to retain are more ‘kind’ words used to describe the generation. However I think Gen Y workers are more optimistic about life, generally socially aware, tolerant and accepting of cultural differences, technically savvy and know how to find information and use it to generate new ideas. Employers have to understand Gen Y in order to keep promising young staff, to maximise productivity, and to grow. They are connected and involved, and they expect to be active participants in their workplaces. Gen Y employees want to be involved in the decision-making process and be able to work in a progressive workplace where their resume can build. You will only gather this information by listening to them. They are also highly capable at multitasking and are interested in constantly developing new knowledge and taking on new responsibilities. Online navigation is second nature to them so make sure you are leveraging technology and are socially networked. Flexibility is also important. If you cannot offer high wages, offer something of greater value to young employees which is a flexible and productive work environment. Make their jobs have a purpose and be fun. Some final points you MUST do for young employees: 1. Make the workplace fun 2. Be honest 3. Learn their language – communicate in terms they understand. 4. Praise them in public 5. Let them know that what they do matters 6. Model behaviour – don’t expect one thing out of them that you don’t and won’t deliver yourself. Be the example.