What Will Change

By Deborah Rothberg  |  Posted 2006-08-24 Print this article Print

Lanzalotto prescribes four steps to help companies effectively manage Generation Y workers technological talents and maximize their value as employees. The first is to understand who this generation looks up to and how that relates to the misguided perception that they dont want to work.
"Employers have to lose these perceptions that Generation Y is the slacker generation—they just have a different thought process. Their generations heroes were business guys who got rich fast, or appeared to, and theres a lot of folk in the last 10 years that have made it look this easy," Lanzalotto said.
What goes into building the perfect IT worker? Click here to read more. The second notable characteristic of the Generation Y work force is that they will switch jobs over the course of their careers more than any generation before them, holding as many as 20 jobs before they retire. The portability of retirement benefits and a lessened need to vest has contributed to this. "Its important to understand that there is no way these people are going to be in one job for their entire career. Youre still going to have managers that say, I dont want a guy who is going to be here for only two years and then leave, but more and more, this is becoming part of the parlance," Lanzalotto said. Dr. Rosen sums up this job-hopping a little differently. "They view a job as just that and not a career. They feel that either the job is shaped in a way that utilized their skills and expertise, or they wont stick around. If they dont like what they are doing, they have a million other options because they come into the workplace so skilled. Often these are more interesting." Even when engaged by their jobs, they will not stay in one place for very long, often leaving to expand their experience and look for new opportunities, Rosen said. However, there is also a significant likelihood that they will come back to the company. Bad boss? Fix your bosss failures with a gift of the fun book that teaches needed skills: "Management by Baseball, The Book Tom Peters Wished Hed Written." Click here. Lanzalotto argues that its important that companies not view employee turnover as bridge-burning. "As a manager, I know if theyre good, they may leave. But, we have more boomerang employees than ever: those who leave and come back, with the added advantage that they know the culture, they know the company and they come back with a whole different perspective and institutional knowledge," he said. "They might come back in five years with some great experience and be a real asset to your company." Next Page: Demand for flexibility.


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