Did you walk out of your office yesterday and suddenly realize that everyone working for you looks as if they are about 12 years old? Generation Y, also known as the Millennial Generation (born 1980-2000), now makes up 21 percent of the IT workforce according to a recent study from IT staffing firm TEKsystems. OK, so that makes them a little older than 12, but they're still pretty darn young. Gen Y is also identified by the less flattering sobriquet "The Entitlement Generation." If you're thinking "and with good reason," then you know that the expectations and work ethics of this generation differ greatly from those of their older colleagues. If you're a Millennial yourself, don't be offended: Your cohort is also known as "Digital Natives," and your agility and comfort level with technology is just what the workplace needs. The management challenge is in knowing how to engage and motivate Millennials and be sure they're interacting productively with senior colleagues.
Millennials, and even some Gen X workers, don't have landline phones. They don't use newsgroups. They're communicating via social networks, Instant Message, Twitter and smartphones. This is where you need to engage them.
This article was originally published on 08-30-2010