How to Recruit, Manage, and Engage the Gen Y Workforce
20 Nov 2014

How to Recruit, Manage, and Engage the Gen Y Workforce

As Baby Boomers begin to retire in increasing numbers, even more emphasis is being placed on the Gen Y workforce.  What can you do to recruit, manage, and engage Gen Y workers?  Also known as the Millennial Generation, Gen Y consists of men and women who were born between the early 1980’s and approximately 2000.  Gen Y has grown up in a time where information is instantly available. Partially due to this instant communication, Gen Y has gained the reputation of being very peer oriented. 


Make sure that your initial recruiting efforts are straightforward.  You need to clearly define what is being offered by the company and what will be expected of the employee.  Gen Y appreciates companies that have less bureaucracy.  If your company offers development programs or succession planning, emphasize this in the recruiting process.


Generally tech savvy, resourceful, and confident Gen Y has very different expectations of their employers than those of their predecessors.  This generation is socially minded and creative.  They seek a work environment that is flexible and an employer that offers out-of-the-box benefits.  Work to create a balance that allows your employees to feel comfortable and able to collaborate freely.

A sense of purpose and social mindedness is important to Gen Y.  You should work to tie the company mission to employee goals.  When an employee can see how their individual contributions further the company mission, a more productive team environment is created and as a result employees feel their work is more fulfilling and purposeful.

Is your company participating in charitable activities within your community?  What programs do you offer that allow your employees to give back?  Many companies offer their employees paid hours each year to volunteer within the community. Offering your employees something beyond a career, in terms of a work life balance is an excellent way to retain your top performers for the long-term.


Employee engagement through incentive programs is also a strong motivator.  Depending upon your type of business you could consider performance incentives such as additional PTO, gift cards, or other prize giveaways.  Another avenue to consider is offering wellness incentives, such as a discount health club membership.

Communication often leads to increased trust and engagement.  When managing a Gen Y workforce it’s important to remember that feedback needs to be clear and timely.  Quarterly reviews alone are not enough.  There needs to be ongoing coaching in the form of a more informal dialogue.

The most important thing to remember is that you need to keep an open mind to the changing needs and expectations of the workforce.  Always remember that there isn’t a one size fits all solution; you will need to keep evolving your workplace to maintain a competitive advantage in recruiting and retaining top talent.




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