Current leaders need to adapt, or they run the risk of becoming outmoded – or so says Gabrielle Dolan, a business author who works across corporate Australia to help leaders humanise the way they lead.
“Many senior leaders I work with tell me that one of their biggest challenges is to manage and lead Generation Y,” said Dolan.
She asserted that employers need to understand Generation Y and adjust the way they lead them accordingly in order to ensure that their company flourishes.
“Generation Y wants to be challenged; they want to be inspired and they will not accept the status quo,” said Dolan.
“It’s this innate sense of curiosity and their ability to question tradition that has given them the moniker ‘generation why’.”
She added that with so many options available to this generation, if leaders are not providing a workplace that challenges and inspires them, they will seek to work somewhere that does.
“This generation has different expectations and beliefs about what they want out of work from their employers,” said Dolan.
“Yes, they want to achieve and be rewarded financially, but it is not just about that.
“They are looking for greater fulfilment, more personal development, and opportunities to cultivate a well-rounded life. More importantly, they genuinely want to make a difference and therefore take corporate responsibility very seriously.”
Dolan also drew attention to Gen Y’s loyalty as employees.
“Due to their tendency to change companies at a much faster rate than previous generations, Gen Y has at times been unfairly labelled as disloyal,” she explained.
“However, they are simply responding to the environment they were raised in.
“Many members of Gen Y saw their parents lose their jobs in the recession of the last 1980s and early 1990s after decades of service. After witnessing the fallout from these job losses, they are not inclined to provide the same level of loyalty to companies that their parents did.”
She added that there is a simple way solution to this.
“Leaders need to make Gen Ys feel valued,” she said. “They need to be more inclusive and transparent in the way they communicate and lead.
“They need to provide more regular feedback to this generation than they provided to previous generations.
“This generation is screaming out for leaders to be more real – and they are getting a lot of support from the members of other generations, who see the value in people who lead with authenticity and transparency.”
As many business leaders are already aware, by 2020, the majority of the workforce will be comprised of Generation Y.