Younger workers don’t have a poor work ethic, just a different one. New workers are entering the workforce with a different values and beliefs. It is important to understand that these values and beliefs are not necessarily bad. They just offer a different perspective o what they expect of themselves and their employer. Younger workers don’t tend to have such a high expectation of job security and, as such, have more of a free agent mentality. To give their all they want to feel included – like it is their own company – not like they are an expendable cog in the wheel.
Understand the Individual
Things are changing so fast that it is difficult to classify characteristics of younger workers in a 20+ year cohort. Due to rapidly changing technology and how prevalent it is in their lives growing up, big differences in needs and expectations can be seen in a 5 year span. In addition, each individual is more profoundly affected by the unique circumstances of their upbringing than by the general trends of society impacting their generation. Don’t expect cookie-cutter solutions to work for this group. As with employees of any age, you will get the best performance and loyalty from them if you take the time to get to know them and adapt your approach accordingly.
If your turnover is high or the performance of your team is not where you want it to be, don’t blame them – look at yourself. The number one reason that employees give for leaving a company or their inability to perform at their full potential is their manager. It doesn’t need to be rocket science to find out what your people want. Talk to them and ask them what they need to get excited about the company and their work and to perform at their best. Make sure you listen without judgement and genuinely try to value their perspective. Create a relationship with them so that you can share your point of view and have a dialogue with them around how to create the kind of workplace they want while also working within the business goals and parameters you need to deal with.