Tag Archives: Gen X

How Do You Effectively Mentor Younger Workers? Five Suggestions

Situation: Most CEOs manage multi-generational staffs. While there are differences between baby-boomers and younger generations, it remains important to give younger workers meaningful guidance. What have you done to successfully mentor younger workers? If you are one of the younger workers, how have you been effectively mentored at work?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • Many have noted that, compared with baby-boomers, younger workers have higher levels of self-confidence. This enables them to be more accepting of constructive criticism and guidance. One company establishes individualized performance metrics to help younger employees monitor their progress. This helps them to chart and see their progress. Along the way, managers meet with them frequently to answer their questions about company processes and the rationale behind them.
  • In some cases, CEOs have found some younger workers have a tendency to short from the hip. They mentored them to communicate more thoughtfully and carefully using a team approach because they found younger workers to be more team-oriented than older workers.
  • Many forward thinking companies involve individuals from all levels of the organization in their planning processes. This addresses the desire of younger staff members to be included in high level decisions. Younger workers prefer this to being told to wait until they have more experience.
  • To help younger employees grow, one company breaks down job tiers into more levels or sub-levels, and offers incentives for reaching the next level of skills more rapidly. They also reset expectations more frequently.
  • Particularly in Silicon Valley many younger employees are swimming in debt. Some purchased houses on adjustable-rate interest-only loans and other creative financing solutions. As interest rates rise some will encounter difficulties. In anticipation of this, one company brings in external resources to offer counseling in personal finance. Some of the local financial services companies offer this as a benefit to company’s employees at no cost to the company.

Key Words: Multi-generational, Baby-boomer, Gen X, Gen Y, Millennial, Echo-boomer, Mentor, Coach, Self-confidence, Processes, Communication, Team approach, Involvement, Listening, Financial counseling, Patience

How do you Manage a Multi-generational Staff? Nine Suggestions

Situation:  Employee pools are now multi-generational, with Baby Boomers, Gen X, Gen Y and Echo-Boomers. Each group may have different expectations for work environments and careers. How do you connect with different generations? How have you set up mentoring programs?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • People may be of different generations, but they are still individuals. Ask what drives or motivates them, and what they would consider an ideal reward for hard work.
  • Some companies offer a sabbatical after several years of employment – the opportunity to work on hobbies, go on an adventure or use the time as they wish. This attracts employees and encourages retention.
  • Some employees don’t seek promotion but are good contributors. They may prefer an extra week of vacation over a promotion.
  • One company gives employees budgets to spruce up their work space – allowing them some control over their work environment.
  • What are good tips on working with younger employees?
    • Coach them to communicate thoughtfully and carefully – instead of shooting from the hip without considering impact or consequences. Younger managers may find that they need more patience communicating expectations to older staff.
    • Establish individualized performance metrics and enable them to monitor progress on their computers.
    • Bring them into the process; don’t tell them to wait. Let them start as an observer. Listen when they have questions or suggestions. Ask their opinion.
    • Break down job tiers into additional levels with more achievement incentives. Allow them to reset expectations frequently.

Key Words: Multi-generational, Boomer, Gen X, Gen Y, Echo-Boomer, Expectations, Environment, Career, Mentor, Motivation, Reward, Sabbatical, Incentive, Communication, Performance, Expectations