Like it or not, Gen Y employees are here to stay.

These are your employees born between 1985 and 2005.

They are different, in fact, very different from previous generations.

Most social experts agree that Gen Y's represent perhaps the most drastic shift in a single generation for over 100 years.

And why are we all guilty of complaining about "Gen Y Attitudes" sometimes? By 2025, many predict that Generation Y workers will make up 75% of the workforce.

It's funny they are called Gen "Y" because you often hear them ask Why?'. "Why should I do this?" and " Why are we doing this?" are common queries from this unique, ambitious, passionate generation. This is because this new group of employees demands more freedom, autonomy and flexibility in their positions. They need to know when, how and why before getting to work – they don't just 'do'.

One of the most significant issues with Gen Y is a lack of loyalty. They see the world as full of opportunities and commonly jump from employer to employer. But they are a fact of life in business and will be for the foreseeable future.

So how should we manage them differently?

1. Feedback.

Gen Y expects regular feedback. They want to know they are doing a good job and need constant validation from their employers. So don't focus on giving feedback to employees not performing and assume Gen Y employees doing a good job will understand that no "news is good news". They want to know. They want to know when you like what you see. If not, they will leave to get their validation elsewhere.

2. Meaning. 

For Gen Y employees to stay, just doing a good job and being paid isn't enough. They want to be learning or contributing in some way to feel inspired. So, explain how their role is "contributing" to their world. For instance, in a hospitality environment, when pushing service standards, link the outcome to making customers feel happy rather than just focusing on the financial outcome for the business.

3. Freedom With Checks.

This is a hard one. Gen Y wants freedom but doesn't, in most cases, have the maturity to handle this freedom. However, if you micromanage them, they will feel disrespected, and you will likely lose them. The trick is establishing great measures and checks in the business and letting Gen Y "feel" like they have freedom.

4. Technology. 

Gen Y employees love technology, and it's part of their DNA. So, wherever possible, embrace great technology (like RosterElf :) into your business. Your Gen Y employees will love communicating with you this way.5. Boredom. These employees are unlikely to be happy doing the same role for an extended period, so look for opportunities to cross-train and teach them new skills.

5. Put Your Foot Down.

They love freedom and new challenges, but Gen Y's also need firm boundaries from time to time. You need to make sure they still remember your, the boss, and that they respect authority.

From personal experience, I can tell you Gen Y management isn't for the light-hearted and requires an entirely different approach. Get it wrong, and they will hurt your business, and turnover will be high. Get it right, and they will be highly engaged and motivated employees.

Good luck, enjoy the ride :)

Simon Ingleson

CEO/Founder @ RosterElf

Magically Simply Staff Rostering

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