Gen Y transforming business
“They are lazy, unprofessional, entitled “digital natives” who expect to start as interns on Monday and be chief executive officers by Friday! Born between 1981 and 2000, Generation Y also known as millennials, are already stirring things up in the workplace”.
Stereotypes? The reality is that Gen Y is the most educated and most diverse generation in history, and the first to have more women than men obtain post-secondary education credentials. They have also been using computers, mobile phones, the Internet, social media tools and other technologies since childhood – the youngest of them essentially since birth.
Whether boomers like it or not, Gen Y will continue to transform the workplace to better suit their needs. In just 15 years, by 2028, the last of the boomers will be reaching retirement age and leaving the labour market. Generation Y will make up roughly three-quarters of the work force by this time. They will be making sweeping changes to the way organizations and their people work. Here are several ways Gen Y leaders will change the workplace:
No more corner offices – less is more – reduce office space as more people work remotely
No more top-down leadership – more team collaboration
Forget work-life balance, it’s all about blending – They are available on their mobile device throughout the day and, thanks to improvements in cloud computing and telecommuting technology, they’ll be able to hop on their computer after grandma (they will care for aging Boomer parents) and the kids have gone to bed to finish up work – masters of the work-life blend.
Say goodbye to e-mail and meetings – Few things are more disliked than e-mail and meetings. Most of the time they’re either pointless, redundant or huge time-wasters – or all three. Gen Y leaders will abandon them, for the most part, because, well, they’re not very Gen Y. Recent surveys show that, like voice mail and snail mail before it, e-mail use is declining among younger millennials in favour of interacting on social networks and by text and instant messaging. Furthermore, instant messaging is already starting to replace e-mail, phone calls and in-person meetings at workplaces around the world because it increases productivity, reduces interruptions and results in shorter, faster conversations.
The results-only work environment – How will Gen Y bosses know if and when their telecommuting are actually working? It won’t matter in the new results-only work environment (ROWE), where employees are evaluated on performance, not presence. While ROWEs may not be possible in all workplaces, (such as hotels, restaurants, retail stores and so on), but they will become the norm in the knowledge economy once Gen Y workers get a taste of it because a ROWE provides the flexibility to work when and where they want, and greater opportunity for work-life blending.
Regular, immediate, social feedback – One of the most prominent stereotypes about Gen Y is that they like receiving a lot of feedback, and that is true. Immediate, effective feedback allows millennials to produce better results more quickly, making their work flow even more efficient – ideal in a ROWE. The benefits to organizations are tangible as well, allowing employers to manage employees’ performance on a daily basis rather than once at an annual review.
Is your business ready for the inevitable Gen Y changes?