By John Gerstner
We were jolted awake this morning by Jason Ryan Dorsey, The Gen Y Guy. He marched us through the generations with great fun and humor.
For first time ever, says Jason, four distinctly different generations are working side by side. And the best business schools in the world weren’t talking about this because it wasn’t supposed to happen.
So Boomer’s are writing hand-written notes to Gen Y’s — in cursive. “And we can’t read cursive.” And we send Boomers a text message. “And they don’t get it.”
1. Gen Y do not attach any value to tenure. “I gave you the best month I had.”
2. Boomers were cut off from their parents at age 18. Gen Y’s went to college for seven years and moved back home.
3. Adult “Olescence.” We want the freedom of being an adult without that responsibility. We define adult as age 30.
4. Gen Y is not instant everything. We are actually output driven. We do not think linear. We do not connect the dots. We need to see the outcome first. We need to see ongoing progress.
5. Gen Y is not tech savvy; we’re tech dependent. It has come at a cost — our communication skills. It is uncomfortable and awkward to have a face to face conversation.
Gen X’ers are the most loyal to organizations. Gen Y’s are the most loyal to individuals.
Of all the generations, Gen X’ers are the ones I feel most sorry for. They’ve been waiting, and waiting, and waiting for Boomers to retire.
To engage Gen Y:
Define terms and provide specific examples.
Deliver quick, check-in feedback continuously.
Give us a challenge and let us succeed.
To communicate with us: send text. If you send us email, put the entire message in the subject line. And if you must continue in the text field, put it in bullets.
Gen Y’ers decide the first day whether they will stay with their employer beyond that first day. To make that first day amazing, start them on a Tuesday. And give them a business card.