Nadira Hira, an award-winning journalist and writer for Fortune Magazine, gave akeynote presentation at the RockStars@ Work Conference. A Gen Y herself, Nadira has written numerous articles about Generation Y's influence on the workplace.
She told the audience that leadership should really set the tone for the organization, but to keep in mind that young employees are usually a company's best ambassadors.
She provided the following 7 values to engage Generation Y in the workplace:
1. Vision – The marketing and reality of a company really have to match up.
2. Accountability – It's important to articulate your company's vision, and even more important to follow through with it.
3. Consistency – It is imperative to make an entry level professional understand why their tasks make them important. Mentorship programs help Gen Ys and Boomers relate to one another.
4. Flexibility – Understand that Boomers consider work to be anything in between physically arriving at work at 9am and leaving at 5pm, but Ys consider work to be anything they do to further the goals of their position–which can happen at any time of day, such as blogging at 3am.
5. Opportunity – Focus on experiences. The reason Gen Ys hop around from job to job is because they don't wan to have just one job (one experience).
6. Community – Gen Ys have experienced over-supportive parents their entire lives, so they seek this same trait in their work environments. Provide ample feedback and engage Ys in dialogue.
7. Authenticity -This is the most important value. Ys want people to tell them the truth. Consider the example of how Zappos dealt with layoffs last year, being upfront and honest with their employees and involving them in the entire process.
Nadira ended her presentation by stating, "if you are a good company, you have achieved your mission to be rockstars."
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