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Enhancing Your Best Assets: Generation Y

Today's guest blog is courtesy of one of our summer interns, Marissa Beaudoin.

After reading a recent blog post about “optimizing your millennial employees” (and other countless articles and posts related to Generation Y), I can't help but give my opinion on the matter. Not because of the constant bad reps they're getting, or even the numerous stereotypes about their laziness and poor attitudes, but simply because I am one of them.

As an intern for a global software company, I've been exposed to the corporate world and more importantly, have worked with Generation Y my entire life. Sure, there are always going to be those who slack off, behave inappropriately in the workplace, and simply just make fools out of themselves, but isn't that true of every generation?

In my current intern program, I've met the most intelligent, driven, and quite simply, good young adults. And while there are always going to be others who are not quite as hard-working, I truly believe that us Millennials have a lot to offer. So instead of complaining and focusing on your Generation Y employees' weaknesses, I suggest harnessing their talents in order to be successful in the 21st century. Here are a few tips to make the most out of your younger workforce:

  1. Listen to them. Our generation is extremely talented, creative, and full of outside-the-box thinkers, so when you listen to what they have to say and give them opportunities to voice their opinions, you'll be surprised at what they have to offer your company. Often times, managers continue with the same goals and strategies for decades since that's all they've ever known; but if those ideas are challenged and new solutions are offered, the company can greatly benefit and grow.
  2. Learn from them. Particularly in terms of technology and social media, Generation Y knows a lot. Many times I personally think I don't know much about technology or computers, but after working and interning in several different positions, I've realized that I know a lot more than others. So those younger employees that actually do claim to know a thing or two are most likely the experts.
  3. Give to them. Our generation is constantly receiving feedback in real-time, whether it's receiving grades and feedback in class, or when we're constantly being judged and critiqued by our peers. We are always reflecting on what we do and thinking about how we can improve. I can certainly attest to this, where I find myself ending every email and project with “Let me know if there's anything I can add or change to this”.  While managers may be used to only giving end-of-the-year reviews, Millennials will be able to grow from constant feedback, be it constructive criticism or praise when appropriate.



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