According to leadership guest speaker Lance Richards; by 2025 Generation Y will represent 75% of the Global Workforce. Often called entitled, misunderstood and lacking work ethic; this is also one of the most misunderstood generations ever.
During my motivational speech, we did briefly discuss how parenting styles have changed. This set off an interesting discussion about the effects of parenting on young generation workers work attitudes and behaviors.
The audience agreed that most kids no longer have authority figures in their lives. Traditional authority figures like teachers are limited by policies and aren't able to really discipline children while parents act as friends rather then authority figures.
The other challenge is that in many households parents more often than not solve their kids problems. Parent hover over their semi adult kids lives and solve challenges large and small like erasing debt, acting as a daily alarm clock, making meals, balancing finances, and calling managers to say their offspring won't come to work.
As a result of this parenting, younger generations don't have adequate experience thinking through problem. Thus on the job they often don't take steps to remedy problems and think ahead.
Some young generation workers simply can't solve problems and have no problem solving ability.
This is a problem especially in the service industry (which employs a lot of younger workers) because customers, guests or patients often have problems, it's the nature of customer service.
What leaders find troubling is that younger generations don't take responsibility and can't grasp how a customers problems are there problem. Instead they innocently pass the buck or blankly refuse to help.
They may also see other leaders or managers ( often older professionals who remind them of their parents) as the ones who will solve the problems for them.
As a motivational keynote speaker for the healthcare congress, I suggest the audience step up and mentor and teach younger workers to solve customer problems because its their job.
Part of problem solving is learning to make decisions based on priorities. Teach gen y to make appropriate decisions by going through job scenarios and indicating this is high priority because.. and this is low priority because....
Also when hiring, ask gen y questions to determine their ability to problem solve.
Do they have the go through and Suss out appropriate problems and solutions or do they Run to their manager?
Because of Employment law leaders have to be careful careful asking questions about relationship with parents as it may be construed as discriminating. Instead look for clues. For instance if a potential candidates mother calls to confirm a job interview you know there's a problem.
When hiring you are always trying to determine this is a good candidate based on values, work habits, judgement and ethics. Skills can be taught, values are much harder to mold.
I enjoyed being a motivational keynote speaker for the healthcare leadership congress. In preparation for the webinar I will be blogging more regularily about leading younger generations.
The webinar will be loosly based on the motivational speech... Follow Me I'm Right Behind You!
This week I was sitting at the London airport waiting for a plane, where a boy (approximately 8 years old) had his cars, pens and other toys spewed all over the floor at my feet.
I was recently a generational speaker for a conference of government employees. During one of the motivational speeches a delegates offered the following scenario....
As a Generational speaker, I talk a lot about the Millenial generation attitudes and values.
I was a generational speaker at an HR Leadership Conference where they hosted a panel discussing the factors that cause people to quit their jobs. All the typical morale busting qualities apply... you should quit your job when you feel a lack of respect and appreciation, when you can make more money elsewhere, when you hate your boss, etc.