Five Tips To Successfully Retain Generation Y Managers

Mar 31 07:14 2010 Gen Wright Print This Article

They're called Generation Y: People born between 1978 and 1994, and they're rapidly climbing the business ladder.

As more and more of them rise to entry level management positions,Guest Posting it's increasingly important for upper management to understand how these young managers think in order to keep their interest in the organization.

Dr. Alison MacLeod, currently a researcher at the Human Element based in Cambridge, UK, sought to determine the behavior of these managers: their work-life balance, internet habits, career goals and more. Her report is the basis for this article.

Here are five strategies employers may find useful in retaining Generation Y managers and cultivating their growth in the organization.

1. Get Involved

Only 41% of Generation Y managers in this study reported regular reviews with their line managers. This is a symptom of a much larger problem and is directly related to the fact that younger managers don't have the same organizational loyalty as those that are more senior. While part of this can be attributed to additional time invested by a senior manager, the disconnect between upper management and Generation Y managers needs to be remedied if organizations want to retain these individuals in the long term.

Getting involved does not necessarily need to translate to increased supervision or micromanagement. In fact, evidence suggests that Generation Y managers are very proactive and independent. However, they require consistent feedback that helps them identify their strengths and weaknesses and points out avenues toward increased education and eventual responsibility.

2. Give Them Room to Grow

Generation Y managers are incredibly driven regarding learning new skills and progressing up the corporate structure as quickly as possible, sometimes to their own detriment. As an employer, it is in your best interest to offer these managers as much headroom as possible, because they typically aren't afraid to walk away and join another organization where the headroom is perceived to be greater. Generation Y managers get the most satisfaction from professional courses and qualifications, so an organization that provides a constant path upward toward ever more certifications will retain a Generation Y manager longer than one that does not. Blended learning, the practice of utilizing professional online networks to encourage more personal contact between younger managers and their mentors has been found to be an effective supplement to professional learning.

If the organization has no headroom in the manager's current sector, job rotation is another way of keeping these managers engaged and retaining them within the organization.

3. Emphasize Positive Organizational Effects

90% of Generation Y managers surveyed said they wanted to work for an organization they can believe in. This was the point that was common to the greatest number of study responses. With such agreement, organizations would do well to bear this in mind when constructing a workplace culture. This culture need not be heavy handed and attempt to drum up corporate pride through traditional motivational methods; it can be as simple as pointing out the ways in which the organization is positively contributing to society and encouraging employees to take part in volunteer efforts and other programs that highlight social responsibility. As managers grow older, it becomes increasingly important that their organization have strong values, and a constant commitment to corporate social responsibility will go a long way toward satisfying a Generation Y manager's need to believe in the positive effect of their organization on society.

4. Maintain Flexibility

One of the greatest frustrations of Generation Y managers is the inability of organizations to change to reflect new realities, whether technological, organizational or otherwise. Generation Y managers want their organization to be as flexible as they are, able to alter its approach to best take advantage of new technologies or respond to changing market conditions. Upper management needs to respond more positively when Generation Y managers identify policies or procedures that are ineffective or counterproductive. If these items are necessary for reasons unknown to the manager, explaining them will help further their education while instilling the feeling that their input is valued nonetheless.

5. Don't Lose Site of Traditional Benefits

Although Generation Y certainly appreciates the more exotic benefits that have popped up in companies over the last several years, they are no substitute for traditional perks such as financial incentives and healthcare. Other lifestyle benefits did not enter into a manager's decision of whether to remain with a particular organization or look elsewhere. The only exception to this rule lies in wellness and fitness benefits, which were appreciated more than any other such benefit.

Overall, the number one item sought by Generation Y managers is transferable skills. If your organization meets this need while at the same time providing constructive, regular feedback, embracing new technology, acknowledging and considering recommendations and reinforcing the positive actions of your organization on society, it will be in the best possible position to recruit and retain Generation Y managers as they continue to make their way up the organizational chart.

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