By Roberta Chinsky Matuson, for Yahoo! HotJobs
Say the words "Gen Y" in the workplace, and you may hear lots of grumbling from boomers and Gen Xers. This young generation is not interested in paying their dues, say their elders, many of whom had to fight their way to the top.
Gen Y is receiving a lot of negative attention, but is it all well-deserved? Here are some of the many positive attributes this group of young employees is bringing to the workplace.
Of course, the balance depends on your definition. But how balanced is your life if you bring your Blackberry to bed? Do you take business calls while watching your son's soccer game?
When Gen Y employees leave the office, most are done for the day. And like generations before them, they are committed to doing things differently than their parents. This means leaving the office in time to pursue passions that don't involve work. We could all learn a thing or two from their approach to living a more balanced life.
We thought Gen Xers were tech-savvy. Wait until you can see what this generation can do with technology. This group is fearless. Before you pick up the phone to call for technical support, give one of these employees a chance to fix the problem. They'll have the situation resolved before you're done listening to Beethoven's Fifth Symphony while holding for assistance on the help line.
Tipping the Status Quo
If you have worked with Gen Y, you may already be accustomed to hearing, "Why are things done this way?" Is that necessarily a bad thing? Not if you are interested in improving your organization. This generation is constantly challenging the status quo. Encourage them to continue to challenge how things get done, and change the way you do things when a good idea is presented.
Two Heads Are Better Than One
If you are into the team approach, you are going to love working with this generation. This group has grown up playing on teams. They seek opportunities to collaborate. You'll get the most productivity out of them when they are working with others for a common cause.
Like it or not, the latest generation to hit the workplace is going to be here for a while. You might as well embrace this new approach to work.
It might even lead to increased profitability and more time to devote to other things besides work. Now that's a healthy balance we can all live with.
[Copyright 2007 Human Resource Solutions. All rights reserved. Roberta Matuson is president of Human Resource Solutions, a firm that provides consulting and training to resolve intergenerational conflicts and help companies capitalize on the unique generational perspectives of their workforce.]