Generation Y (Nexters) were born between approximately 1980-2000.  They have grown up with rapidly advancing technology as part of their daily lives.  Nexters are very socially aware, more apt to have difficulty concentrating, are lifelong learners, and always the multi-tasker. This generation will most likely change jobs approximately twenty times in order to increase their experience and take advantage of new opportunities.  Analysts say that narcissism is 30% more prevalent in this group.

Other characteristics.  They:

  • don’t respond positively to authority unless they truly respect the authority figure
  • insist on state-of-the art technology, and perks such as Blackberries and telecommuting
  • are more interested in preserving quality of life than working the extra long hours of previous generations
  • crave praise, recognition, rewards and incentives and they respond more positively when these attributes are part of their normal working world
  • support “green” programs to preserve our natural resources and reduce their carbon footprint
  • get bored and frustrated with slow-paced businesses and traditional hierarchies

When Coaching a Nexter:

  • provide structure and guide them with good time management skills
  • tell them now what needs to be changed and do NOT wait until their yearly review
  • quickly show them what they need to do and do not expect them to learn it the hard way
  • be very specific on dress code and company regulations–explain consequences and don’t assume they will follow unless they know why
  • provide frequent rewards and create some type of fun element in the workplace (although we ALL like to have some fun and relieve stress)
  • take time to get to know them, understand their talents and show interest in their goals and dreams
  • treat them like one of the team rather than as an intern.  Share necessary information with them
  • tell them what’s in it for them and help them see the benefits of new processes and procedures
  • provide continual training
  • don’t tell me ‘what” to do without telling me “why”

As with ALL generations, respect, active listening and saying “thank you” are key ingredients for a successful workforce.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rita Rocker is a national inspirational and educational speaker, communications and image specialist, and a career and virtual presentations coach with Transformation Academy, LLC.  She is the author of “A Guide to Marketing Yourself for Success”, and a contributing author to “The Unstoppable Woman’s Guide to Emotional Well Being -The Total Woman in Leadership and Success Guide for the Unstoppable Entrepreneur.” She has appeared on national television and radio talk shows on self-esteem and communication. A former Mrs. Nebraska and active in numerous professional organizations, Rita is on the Board of the Small Business Association of the Midlands and co-director of greater Omaha’s Affiliated Women International. Rita provides life and career-transforming programs to mature teens and adults. Contact Rita at rita@transformationacademy.com.