Here’s an interesting article from Cam Marston, author of Motivating the “What’s in it for me?” Workforce.
Retaining Youth: You’ve hired them. Now how can you keep them around?
By Cam Marston
Things aren’t always what they seem. If I could give you one bit of
advice on dealing with the latest generation of employees to come under
your management, it would be to remember those words…things aren’t
always what they seem.
you are like most business leaders, you’ve no doubt noticed a trend in
the way employees behave in recent years. Most likely you consider it a
negative trend – too much entitlement, not enough loyalty, no work
ethic, only interested in themselves, and on and on. But I challenge
you to consider that perhaps these are not negative trends, just
different ones. Things aren’t always what they seem.
understand who your employees are and what drives them to succeed,
perhaps it’s easiest to understand who they are not. You. That’s right.
They may even be your offspring but in the workplace they bear little
resemblance to the “you” of yesteryear. Gen Xers (born 1965-1979) and
Millenials (born after 1980) are operating in this world with a
completely different perspective. Their definitions of loyalty, time
and success are often quite different from yours. Rest assured they do
recognize all of these concepts and value them in very important ways.
The key to your organization’s future success is understanding how the
Millenials view the world and using that knowledge to motivate them in
a way that works. Here’s a hint: meet them where they are and they will
achieve your underlying goals; try to force them to fit your
definitions and they will run for the door every time.
take a look at some of the pervasive myths about our youngest
generation in the workforce and discuss why these changes are happening
and how you can tailor your workplace to meet the needs of you, your
employees and the company.
Myth: Younger generations have no work ethic.
Younger generations have a self-centered work ethic. This is not
necessarily the negative that it may seem at first. Millenials are
dedicated to completing their task well. They have not been raised in a
way that demands them to look around and see what should be done next.
Instead they ask “what is my job” and go about figuring the best,
fastest way to complete that task. Then they consider themselves done.
This is a key differentiator between your employees and yourself.
younger they are, the more your employees view their jobs as “something
to do between the weekends.” For most, early employment has nothing to
do with a career path; it is a way to earn money to have fun in their
free time. And that is okay. When you understand what motivates your
employees you are better able to set mutual expectations for success.
Instead of being frustrated that your youngest employees are not
interested in climbing your corporate ladder, embrace their true
motivation – reliable spending money – and use it to your advantage.
When you tell an employee, “I understand this is not your lifelong
career, but to earn the paycheck every week, here is what I expect …”
they are much more likely to respond than if you try to motivate with
promises of promotions and titles down the road.