Understanding Generation Y: 7 phrases defining a generation

Not a new topic but nicely written:

  1. Hear me out. Young adults have had a say in how things go since they were five. They expect to express themselves, to upload, vote, blog or update and they believe they will be heard.
  2. Keep it real. The only thing worse than being uncool is being unreal. They demand authenticity. Anything that smells “plastic” is a turn-off. They value genuine people and leaders.
  3. Let’s have fun. They believe work and fun can be combined; they don’t want to separate the two. In fact, they may stop working midday to have fun and work again at midnight. It’s a continuum.
  4. My way now. They have not heard the word “no” very often growing up. As a student or new employee, they expect to get their way and don’t see why adults can’t understand their perspective.
  5. Make it count. They want to do things that matter. Meaning is as important as money at work. They don’t think small. They like projects that are very important and almost impossible.
  6. Let me know. They are used to constant feedback. They got trophies on teams just for showing up. They got lots of kudos from parents for years, and today want it instantly from their leaders.
  7. Plug me in. You already know this. They are a connected generation. They can’t imagine a day without constant connection with friends. Technology is an appendage of their bodies.
  8. Just do it. Words that describe their world are immediacy and convenience. They’re not prone to waste a lot of time with committee red tape or protocol. Stuff should happen fast.

Adapted from Elmore, T. (2011 February 2). A Crash Course in Understanding Generation Y http://www.growingleaders.com.

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