By Laurie Reuttimann
You know what else people talked about? How to manage Millenials in the ever-changing workforce.
I like to pay attention to what’s said about Millennials because I have actually managed three generations in the workforce: Baby Boomers, Generation Jones and Generation Y. Not many of my peers can say this. And I know that what has been said about Generation Y (born 1982-2004) has been said about every white-collar worker since 1948, including me.
- They are coddled.
- Their diversity should be embraced.
- They want flexibility.
- They value benefits over salary.
- They want to be liked and accepted in a group environment.
While it’s true that a kid born in 1996 will never use a fax machine unless they are communicating with Sallie Mae about deferring their student loan repayments, I am not sure a new generation in the workforce changes the game of how you manage people.
It’s not like we manage people well in the first place, yo.
My favorite “Gen Y” writer thinks that much of this talk is garbage, too.
Replace the phrase “Gen Y” with any other protected class and you realize how ridiculous this is as a “best practice” for HR. #SHRMATL13
— Matt Charney (@mattcharney) April 30, 2013
I love it. Let’s try it.
- Puerto Ricans demand flexibility in the workforce.
- When you think black people people, think social and mobile.
- Asians: Confident. Connected. Open to Change.
- Muslims do not use Twitter in large numbers, but college-aged girls with disabilities show the greatest enthusiasm for the application.
- Native Americans want to work in a loose, collaborative environment without a ton of structure.
- The Irish want unlimited PTO.
[Wait, of course the Irish want unlimited PTO.]
Just because you have demographic data doesn’t mean the data is applicable, relevant or even appropriately interpreted by a bunch of Human Resources ladies at a conference. And just because people have evolving preferences and communication styles doesn’t mean that the concept of management changes all that much.
Manage for performance by setting clear goals and demonstrating empathy for your employees. Motivate your workers with a better with a mix of incentives — including a crazy concept called equal pay for equal work.
Right there? You’re ahead of the game.
Everything else you hear about managing Gen Y is sketchy mix of armchair philosophy and pop psychology.
With over a decade of Human Resources leadership experience in Fortune 500 organizations, Laurie Ruettimann is an influential speaker, writer and social media strategist. She is the creator of Punk Rock HR, The Cynical Girl and The HR Blogger Network. Laurie is also the co-founder of HRBloggers.com and HRMToday.com, the first social networks created for HR professionals.
In addition to her online work, Laurie is a contributing editor for The Conference Board Review; an advisor to SmartBrief on Workforce; and her advice has been featured in various publications such as The New York Times, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report and CFO Magazine. Her work has been featured on the Suicide Girls and AOL. Laurie is also recognized as one of the Top 5 career advisors by CareerBuilder and CNN. SHRM Atlanta was thrilled to have Laurie as a part of our #SHRMATL13 Press Team providing media coverage of our annual conference!