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FLEXO Magazine : January 2008
PLANTS & PROCESSES , I meaning. They do not want to waste their time with grunt work, but if it has to be ,. ...tr;, é ''/fil Umindless" work, at least explain to them how their little part impacts the big picture. Their greatest strength is of course the use and understanding of ever-changing technology. They were born with it and are addicted to it. Just ask them to go without it-they can't. They can man- age working on the Internet, Instant Messaging with their friends, while talk- ing on their cell phones and listening to their iPods. They are indeed the ultimate multi-taskers. Working with and on technology is second nature. It does not require their full attention. With just a limited exposure to the Y Generation, you'll notice some nega- tives (or at least what most other gen- erations would call negatives). They are impatient-they have an uI want it now" attitude. This comes in part from their dealing with technology. They have a dif- ficult time waiting for anything. To them, patience is not a virtue; it is just a waste of time. This lack of ability to wait has also led them to ask a lot of questions- they are not questioning your authority when they are doing this. They truly want to know why something is or isn't happening. Next comes feedback. They need a lot of this. One estimation states that Y-ers will need anywhere from 50 to 100 times more than previous generations. A yearly review will not work with them. They grew up receiving constant feedback and they are looking for it at work. Recently, there was an article in the Wall Street Journal about how they are the most praised generation ever. They grew up in a world where everyone got a trophy, everyone was special. They also feel empowered. They have been making purchasing decisions on everything from food, clothing and cars to family vacations and entertainment. They even have a lot of say in what home they'll live in. It is estimated that they ; .. - FLEXO JANUARY had/have a significant influence on 74 percent of family leisure decisions. They are from the era where mom and dad treated them more as peers in decision making. They feel it's only natural to ex- press what they think without hesitation. They will change jobs, and often. It's estimated that they will changes jobs, if not careers, twice the number of times of prior generations-all in search of a job that challenges them and where they feel they are valued. To some extent it's not all about the money. To them, change means they are growing and learning more. Knowing more means they have more control over what they do and where they do it. This means they have more value, which results in them having more security. Like all of us, they want to feel they are an important part of an organization. But unlike the rest of us, they will not wait around for long if they don't. And finally, they don't automatically assume we deserve respect just because of our age or job title. They believe respect is earned by actions and abili- ties. They waste no time on people they perceive as frauds who don't really know what they're doing. However, if you do earn their respect, they will be loyal to you to a fault. It has been suggested that loyalty to an individual is the No. 1 reason this generation will stay at a workplace. OK, so how about the positives of having this generation as part of your organization. First, they are extremely comfortable with diversity. They have grown up in a global society where they have been interacting with people from around the world. Demographically, they breakdown to be the most diverse generation in numbers. They truly want to do their best for you. If you clearly explain your expectations they will do everything to meet or exceed them. They are a generation of over achievers. They are all about the teamwork. They have spent their lives as members of various teams. It is in this environment that they shine. They don't necessarily want to be the shining star but they do want to be part of the greatest team ever. They think differently from other gen- erations. For example, when a group of 2008 www.flexography.org Y-ers are asked to work on a project, it will probably go something like this: · Put together an electronic file. · E-mail to the rest of the team for input. · They'll send it back with suggestions. · After making changes, it will be posted for all to review. · Then they'll schedule a time to pres- ent their idea. · After that they may 1M each other with last minute changes and to de- cide who is doing what part of the presentation. You get the idea: it's almost all electron- ic. Ask the same of a group of Boomers and it will go a little like this: · Call a meeting to discuss the project, at which they may decide that they should break into smaller groups. · The sub-groups will meet on their own, perhaps even have a conference call. · Then another meeting to discuss the conclusions of the smaller groups. · A decision will be made about what to do, and everyone will go do his or her part. · And then there will be-you guessed it-another meeting. I think you get the picture. A Y-er would not even entertain the idea of so many meetings. Take advantage of the fact that they think different. If you're looking to make a change or take on a new project, put together a team that consists of a Boomer who knows how the organization operates with a Y-er who could come up with a new idea and you have a team that really thinks outside the box but understands the rules. Finally, there is technology. In this arena, Y-ers are a resource that can be utilized to whatever your needs might be. It can be problem solving, reverse men- toring for older individuals, or develop- ing new ways of utilizing technology to accomplish tasks. They use technology as an extension of themselves-take advan- tage of it. SIX WAYS TO LOSE So, now that you have an idea of both the good and the bad, what could you