Holding on to young workers

Updated: 06/11/2008

Source: Fresh Info – Wednesday, 5 Nov 08

Mark MurphyMark Murphy, chief executive of Leadership IQ has shared his tips for making the most of young workers.

In his seminar
– Managing Generation ‘Why’ – Murphy splits the workforce into four age groups:

  • Generation Y, under the ago of 30,
  • Generation X, between 30 and 40,
  • Baby boomers, up to their mid-60s and
  • Traditionalists, who are 65-plus

    “This is the first time we have had four generations in the same workforce”

There are big differences between Generation Y and the workforce that has gone before it.

  1. Higher self-esteem
  2. Respond well to positive feedback rather than a ‘sink or swim’ experience.
  3. Have technological authority over the older generations
  4. Used to multi-tasking
  5. Demand the same immediate response from their career as they expect in everyday life
  6. Refuse to wait for a promotion

Young workers must be set clear standards and given positive reinforcement when these standards are met. Any problems should be dealt with constructive criticism, without blame.

“If Generation Y feels like it is not succeeding, they will quit.
If they feel they are doing well, they are more likely to stay”

Generation Y

  • Younger workers should be given work that has meaning and at least 20 per cent of their time should be given to interesting work.
  • Employers should encourage socialising and bonding in work teams, as well as equality in the workplace.

“The world is changing from a talent perspective, successful businesses will recognise that is very difficult to retain good people … and they will do something about it,” said Murphy. 

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