2011-09-13

7 ways engage gen y employees to help your company survive

Mark Holmes

There are seven major trends that will impact most companies over the next ten years. There is also a link to those trends and how you can engage Gen Y employees to help your organization succeed and be better and faster at making changes to survive, even thrive in the future.

A US nationwide survey was conducted by the author and a colleague for over 18 months that included 400+ responses online with employed Gen Yers, and over 100 one-on-one interviews. Here are the predictions and findings:

  • Endless Efficiency. Business must find ways to streamline everything possible in order to be more productive and increase competitiveness. Gen Y has a penchant for finding ways to improve everything, reinvent, downsize or utilize technology better, faster, cheaper. Involve them early in the idea stage versus waiting until the plan is ready for implementation.
  • Urgency in the Culture. Business must get employees on board with needed change, quickly, by turning energies and efforts loose on solving competitive threats and pursuing opportunities. Change is moving from periodic to continual and Gen Y employees want to be engaged. They are wired for ditching the status quo and instituting changes fast, switching direction altogether, or altering embedded processes to make things better.
  •  Going with Technology. Business must go with technology, not against it. To compete in the future, innovation must be a core discipline for any sized business, especially when ‘all’ organizations will be lean or be out. As competitive advantage lifecycles get shorter, innovation could be a cornerstone in the ability to compete profitably—and Gen Y employees are hard-wired for technological advances, let them help lead this change.
  • Trust is a Must. Businesses must become comfortable with more transparency—with customers, employees, stakeholders. Gen Y employees place high value on trust in a new era of mistrust toward government, society and leaders. They will demand increased transparency and trust—a value that will impact retention of your best and brightest.
  • Idea Tolerance. Business must be tolerant of new ideas and provide environments where employee input is regularly gathered and applied. Gen Y loves to be involved and they have a voluminous supply of ideas on how to improve anything. Cultivating these new ideas, sorting the good ones from the not-so-good ones, then executing effectively can be a definite competitive advantage. Stimulate ideas from your Gen Y workers and regularly engage them in open communication.
  • Customer Enthusiasts. Business must focus on customer retention in the future. Every customer must count, not just the largest. An environment where everyone’s job is linked to the customer’s loyalty is desperately needed. Gen Y can be especially helpful in improving a company’s responsiveness to customer requests, solving customer problems or deepening customer relations. However, Gen Y will need clear guidelines and standards to follow. Empirical evidence suggests that Gen Y employees aren’t entering the workplace with the greatest customer service acumen, especially compared to their predecessors, and many lack the requisite convictions. They will need training and/or coaching, but they should be quick learners and quick adapters if the standards are clear and cultural to the enterprise.
  • Collaboration and Connectedness: Business must find efficient ways to improve communications across the company, or suffer the consequences of reduced satisfaction by customers and employees. Gen Y is geared to make and maintain connections, as well as work across departments in order to help the organization achieve its goals. Utilize this proclivity by engaging Gen Yers in cross-functional teams and offering more opportunities to do joint problem solving.

 


Reprinted with the permission of Mark Holmes. Holmes helps companies increase sales, service and employee performance. He utilizes twenty-four years of experience advising, training, and coaching some of America’s most successful small and large companies. His ideas on employee retention, sales and customer service have been widely featured in major national media like FOX, Chicago Tribune, Dallas Morning News, BNET and The Wall Street Journal. Mark can be reached at mholmes@ThePeopleKeeper.com

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